New Delhi:Finally, not since Diego Maradona single-handedly took Argentina to the 1986 World Cup crown will one player dominate the headlines of a major Footballing Championship. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro will, without a doubt, be looking to stamp his seal on this summer's European Championships after his amazing season with English Premiership side Manchester United. And Portugal, who've never won a major international tournament at senior level, will be resting their hopes on the 23-year-old to change their fortunes in Euro 2008.
Free-Kicks, Tap In's or Cheeky Back Heels, he can do it all. Cristiano Ronaldo has come off the kind of season that most players can only dream of. His goals were instrumental in not only the Premiership crown returning to Old Trafford for the second straight year, but in bringing the Champions League crown to Manchester United after a gap of 9 years. With UEFA's Euro 2008 starting from June 7, the expectations will be to convert that form onto the international stage.
The expectations from this Portuguese player have enough reasons to back them.
He scored 42 goals in all competitions including 31 in United's successful Premiership defence. He was instrumental in United's strong showing in all competitions, winning his second Premiership Title with the Red Devils and his first UEFA Champions League Crown. Ronaldo also picked up the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year & PFA Players' Player of the Year award for the second straight year.
He's the odd's-on favourite to pick up more personal awards this year in the form of the European Footballer of the Year & FIFA World Player of the Year.
His 31 Premiership goals helped him pick up the European Golden Shoe as the top marksman on the continent, not bad for a player who played mostly on the wings the entire season.
So it's pretty obvious why Spanish Giants Real Madrid would want to break the bank to sign this Portuguese International.
Christiano, who was named after American President Ronald Regan, will have pressure like never before on his young shoulders, but then he is probably used to that by now, since he is the biggest star with one of the biggest football clubs in the World.