Undercurrent of arch-rivalry

Amol Gokhale
Friday, 29 June 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal takes on Luis Suarez’s Uruguay

On Saturday, after the fate of Lionel Messi and Argentina is sealed, the fate of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal would be sealed too.

Tongues will be wagging depending on what happens in those two matches as the comparisons between to contemporary greats will reach new peaks.

Specially if France stands in the way of Messi and Co or Uruguay stands in way of Ronaldo and Co.

It's the game that will have an undercurrent of arch-rivalry defined by the derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as well as the flavour of El Classico with the involvement of mercurial Luis Suarez.

Uruguay captain Diego Godin is definitely one of the top five central-defenders in the World as many stalwarts who have faced him in Atletico colours have admitted that he is the toughest customer they have come up against.

The cross-city rivalry will once again take the centre stage when the 32-year-old defender will come up against the 33-year-old Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

If the prospect of Atletico-Real battle is looming near Uruguay goalmouth, at Portugal goalmouth 'El Clasico’' reunion is on the cards when Barcelona man Luis Suarez will be running at former Real Madrid defender Pepe, with the added flavour of Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.

Portugal will certainly depend on their record goal scorer to once again see them through, but the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Bernardo Silva, Adrien Silva have the capacity to pounce on the defensive lapse by the opposition.

On the other hand, it will be no doubt Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani who will be in focus, one so far Uruguay are the only side who has the best defensive record as they are yet to concede a goal and have won all their matches, along with Croatia and Belgium.

The fact that Portugal and Uruguay play after Argentina has played makes the clash even more significant as the winner of that game will take on the winner of this clash. Meaning, one can expect Messi and Ronaldo going head to head in the quarter-finals or either one of them making progress or both might fail to take their side forward.

With all these little nuances, the clash has got the undercurrent of derby and the Classico and promises to be a spicy affair.

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