Although Cristiano Ronaldo has firmly established himself as Lionel Messi’s closest rival for the official title of world’s best player, there is one question mark that still hangs over Real Madrid’s Portuguese maestro.
Many feel that Ronaldo tends to go missing in big games, and accuse him of failing to perform to the same high standard in the maroon of Portugal as he does in the brilliant white of Madrid.
This criticism seems decidedly harsh on a player that has scored 32 goals in 90 games for his country, and whose seven goals in Euro 2012 qualifying was only bettered by international goal machines Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Miroslav Klose.
Nevertheless, Euro 2012 is the perfect opportunity for Portugal’s star man to prove his value to the team, and he is a clear 11/8 (2.38) favourite with Bet365 to finish as his country’s top scorer. That's a price that still offers good value though, especially looking at the other attacking options in the squad and is well worth backing.
Ronaldo’s 46 league strikes made him one of the most prolific European goalscorers last season, and yet at 14/1 (15.00) he is not among the front runners to finish as top-scorer in this summer’s tournament - which could be worth a smaller investment in longer odds.
Those odds would inevitably drop should the former Manchester United man get off the mark in the opening game, and you can back him at 13/10 (2.30) to score anytime against Germany.
A decisive goal would certainly add to his international kudos, so it would do no harm at all to bag the first or last goal of the game, available at 9/2 (5.50) for either selection.
Ronaldo notched up an incredible seven hat-tricks for Real Madrid last season, and he is at 33/1 (34.00) to take home the match ball against a traditionally resolute German defence, or just 7/1 (8.00) to get a modest two goals.
Should the Madeira native manage to carry his club form into the international scene then it would significantly boost his nation’s chances of emerging from a tough group, where Portugal are slight outsiders at 13/10 (2.30) to qualify.
If Ronaldo does hit his best form, then it is not difficult to imagine him firing the Euro 2004 finalists to glory this summer, even with odds of 18/1 (19.00) currently against them.
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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