Cristiano Ronaldo. It had to be that man again. Another big game, another moment where his team needed a goal, the man for the big stage turned up in the Nations League semi final to score a magnificent hat-trick to send Portugal through to the final. And you could see how much it meant to the players. Portugal celebrated Ronaldo's third with every player - even the subs - swarming the main man. Some Swiss players laid dejected on the floor after the loss. Do not underestimate how much a major trophy means to footballers, and you could see by the competitive nature of the game.
The man is a freak. We will never see a player in any sport like him. He turns up on the biggest stages, and single-handedly drags his team through on a regular basis. He is unbelievably clutch. It was quite a quiet game by his standards too. But that is the hallmarks of a brilliant player. His first goal was a thumping free-kick which wrong-footed the goalkeeper. His second was a low drive with 2 minutes to go. The hat-trick goal was a fantastic finish after a good solo run. If England get past the Netherlands, they will know: stop Ronaldo, stop Portugal. He partnered wonder kid Joao Felix up front for the Portuguese, however, the youngster had very little impact, as did many of their players. Only Bernardo Silva and William Carvalho really played that well to be honest. I really like the look of that Portuguese team and there looks to be a huge amount of quality. It will take time for them to gel but there is huge potential there. I thought the Swiss played quite well, however they don't have a Ronaldo. They have a Xhaka. I thought he was so poor. He gave away the ball for the third goal just like he always does for Arsenal. He is such a poor player. He offers nothing apart from long range passing, but his short passing is terrible and seems to make crucial mistakes all the time. And that is why Portugal are in the final.
Raheem Sterling is set to be given the captaincy in Harry Kane's absence tonight. He
deserves it on the basis of how good he has been this season and how good of a footballer he is right now. Also, his off the field work has been brilliant and the captaincy will be a great reward for him tonight. However, I don't really see him as captaincy material but he isn't going to be captain when Kane and Henderson returns so I'm not too bothered. I worry for England now knowing lots of key players are out, but hopefully the others players can stand up. COME ON ENGLAND!