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15th Jun 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo proves why he’s one of the greatest with late free-kick equaliser

You are now in the presence of greatness

Wayne Farry

Never doubt him, ever

Cristiano Ronaldo is a complex man who is loved and loathed in equal measure by football fans all over the world.

Whether you like him or not though, there are some facts that simply cannot be disputed, notably the fact that he is a man for the big occasions who consistently provides when his team requires it.

He does it for Real Madrid season in, season out, and tonight – like many other nights – he did it for Portugal.

Trailing 3-2 to a fantastic Spain side who played with their usual vim and verve, Ronaldo had carried Portugal throughout, scoring his country’s first and second goals.

Then, the 87th minute, Portugal win a free-kick 25 yards out from goal. There are no doubts over who is taking it. It will be Ronaldo, a man who has missed the vast majority of recent free-kicks he has taken. He doesn’t care. He’s still taking it.

The crowd goes silent. Fevered anticipation consumes the souls of all those watching. Surely he can’t. He never scores these anymore. He can’t.

Then, up he steps, legs akimbo, his usual stance. He stares at the wall, or more specifically through the wall, and hits it.

Time stands still and the ball crashes into the back of the net. Portugal are level at 3-3 and Ronaldo has once again done the unthinkable. He has once again carried his nation and once again proven that he is one of the greatest of all time.