Euro 2016: Portugal vs Austria - 5 players to watch out for
After a surprising draw against Iceland in Euro 2016, Portugal will be looking to pull their socks up and get the job done against Austria. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo had criticised Iceland for having a “small mentality” after Portugal could not get the winning goal against them but Ronaldo himself wasted a number of opportunities against Iceland and remains goal-less in France this year.
Austria, on the other hand, shockingly lost to their neighbouring rivals Hungary (0-2) and have set themselves an uphill task of beating Portugal and Iceland to progress to the last-16 stage. Austria looked in command when David Alaba almost scored the quickest ever goal at the Euros but ended up hitting the post.
After Aleksandar Dragovic was sent off for committing two offences, Zoltan Stieber sealed Hungary's win in the 87th minute leaving Austria helpless with 10 men.
Both Portugal and Austria will look to get a positive result and here are the players who will make a difference in the match.
1) Cristiano Ronaldo
Often compared with Leo Messi as the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the centre of attraction for all the teams that he has played for. Scoring over 50 goals for his Country, Ronaldo has kept disproving his critics with his commendable performances over the past decade.
Preferring to play as a Winger on the left plank, the 31-year-old Real Madrid forward can be lethal with his swift movement, everlasting stamina and almost always outmatching his opponent defenders. With his ability to play on both sides of the pitch and at the centre, Ronaldo was used as a striker against Iceland and troubled the defence consistently with pace and positioning, attempting over 10 shots to find the net.
Ronaldo is already the highest Goal-scorer for Portugal (58) and has represented his nation on 127 occasions. He is a difficult player to contain during set-pieces as his powerful headers are unstoppable at times.
Much to the delight of his team, Ronaldo is at the peak of his fitness, his strength can be matched by a few in the entire football history and his long-range shots have left the Goalkeeper absolutely clueless. Ronaldo will be hungry for goals and there will be no better time to score than when his Country needs it the most.