Football

Cristiano Ronaldo faces battle to reach the World Cup

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Portugal managed a 2-0 win against Luxembourg in their last World Cup qualifier but Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates only finished second in Group F with Russia winning the group and qualifying directly for the 2014 tournament.

The Portuguese national team have been less than impressive during these qualifiers, drawing twice with Israel, once with Northern Ireland and losing out to Russia in Moscow.

With Russia winning group F and Portugal trailing by only one point, Cristiano Ronaldo will see his national team walk thin ice in the play-offs.

Although Portugal will be a first seed in this phase of the competition, Paulo Bento's side could still encounter fierce opposition.

The draw for the play-offs will take place on Monday and that's when Portugal will find out whether they will battle for a World Cup place with minnows such as Iceland or a a somewhat stronger Romanian side - or even with the likes of France or Sweden. 

Ronaldo has found himself as the leader of a rather disappointing generation of Portuguese players and could even miss joining the greats at the World Cup should his country have to do battle on the pitch with 1998 winners and 2006 finalists, France.

France, boasting such names as Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema are expected to qualify for the World Cup, while Sweden always have the ability to produce an upset and surpass Portugal in the race for the World Cup.

While Romania and Iceland look like easy targets for the Portuguese side at first glance, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will be able to lead his side all the way across the Atlantic for next summer's tournament, or if the Real Madrid star will suffer one of the great disappointments of his career and find himself once again one step behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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