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Inside Russia with Angela: My last Portugal match… until the final?

01 July, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • La Liga rivalries renewed as Ronaldo and Suarez take center stage in World Cup knockout tie

Ronaldo scored four goals in Portugal's first two group stage matches.

The teams will face off at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday in Sochi, Russia, in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo will be foremost in the minds of Uruguay defenders, while the Europeans' back line must be wary of the threat forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani pose atop the South Americans' attack.

Uruguay advance to play France on Friday and Portugal are on their way home.

However Ronaldo, who will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup, would not be drawn on whether he planned to extend his worldwide career.

The loss for Portugal against Uruguay ended the dream of legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, who alongside Argentina's Lionel Messi, may have to end a stellar worldwide career without the biggest trophy in football.

As per the itinerary I crafted for myself before landing in Russian Federation, I should remain in Sochi - where I saw Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick heroics vs Spain on Matchday 1 - until July 8.

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Messi's return in Russian Federation was more meagre - at times he looked disillusioned on the field as Argentine struggled to find anything like their usual style and he drifted deep into midfield in the forlorn hope of influencing games.

Ronaldo will be 37 when the Qatar World Cup comes around - although you certainly wouldn't bet against him making himself available for that. "There is a tournament in September, the Uefa League of Nations, and we hope that he is with us so that he can help the young players who will need their captain's example".

Coach Oscar Tabarez spoke ahead of the game about his team's togetherness and deep-rooted unity, with many of his players having first emerged during Uruguay's 2011 Copa America triumph, and their club mentality was on show against Portugal.

Like Messi, Ronaldo has never scored in a knockout round match at the World Cup.

By the end of the first half, he was exhausted, but as we have seen so often for Liverpool, Barcelona and his country, Suarez kept going.

In the final moments of the half, with Suarez down following a challenge from Raphael Guerreiro, Portugal won a corner that came to nothing before a half-chance was steered wide by Cavani at the far post.

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