Cristiano Ronaldo may be amid controversy right now after his interview with Piers Morgan, but that should only spur him on to prove a point at the World Cup.
Ten Hag may have dropped him at United, but Fernando Santos will do no such thing in Qatar. His main attacking threat has scored 117 international goals in 191 appearances.
Ronaldo also earned top scorer at last year’s Euros with 5 goals (despite being knocked out in the last 16) and scored 6 times in 9 World Cup qualifiers.
In what is most likely his last tournament for Portugal, Ronaldo will be supported by some talents in boosting his record tally of 813 career goals and 117 for his country.
Those supports include club teammate Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva.
Fernandes has produced 57 shot creating opportunities this season alone, and averages 5.02 per 90 across the last 5 seasons. Leao is not far behind with his 4.47 SCA per 90 this season to match his 4 assists, while Silva’s 3.37 has contributed to his 5 assists.
Who else to create those goals for Ronaldo than his teammate Bruno Fernandes?
As previously mentioned, Bruno Fernandes has averaged over 5 shot creating opportunities per 90 at United and will be his side’s main creator once again in Qatar.
Only Kevin de Bruyne has created more than Fernandes’ 8 big chances in 13 Premier League outings this season.
He has assisted 25 times in the previous 3 seasons for his club, and even notched two more in Portugal’s qualification for the World Cup.
With Ronaldo up top, Bernardo Silva and Rafael Leao either side of him, he will have more than enough freedom to exhibit his creativity.
After suffering from a heart attack in the opener of his last major international competition at the Euros, no one would’ve expected Christian Eriksen to make it to this year’s World Cup.
Little over a year later, he arrives in Qatar as the main creative spark for a dark horse Denmark side.
They won 9 of their 10 qualifiers and scored 30 goals in the process. More recently, they even did the double over reigning world champions France in the Nations League in the summer.
With Eriksen marking 4 assists already for United this season, adding to his 116 career assists, you may already be convinced that he’ll have a hand in more in this Denmark side.
But it’s worth noting he also features in a much more advanced role for Denmark than he does at club level.