10Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo
The man, the myth needs no introduction. Arguably, the greatest footballer of this generation has turned up for the 2018 World Cup and how! He seems to have resolved the long ensuing debate of ‘Who is the greatest? Messi or Ronaldo?’ for now. Having already done the unthinkable and unfathomable of leading his overly underwhelming Portugal team to lift the Euros 2016, Ronaldo is hell-bent on proving the critics wrong at the 2018 World Cup. Born to a cook and a municipal gardener, Ronaldo has to endure severe hardships throughout his early life which has moulded the man that he is today – highly competitive, never say die spirit and slightly obnoxious.
He arrived at the World Cup 2018 after inspiring the Real Madrid side to their third consecutive Champions League title and his fifth overall Champions League winners medal when they defeated Liverpool 3-1. Pitted in a group featuring the heavy favourites Spain and the Asian and African minnows Iran and Morocco, Portugal was expected to make it to the second spot in the group, with Spain being the group leaders, fairly easily. But in Portugal’s first match against Spain, Ronaldo was in fine form as he hit a hat-trick to single-handedly ensure that Portugal ends the match in a 3-3 draw. The match included an out of the worldly free kick by Ronaldo to draw the match.