Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, whose nation faces Portugal in the round of 16 at the World Cup on Tuesday, feels it would be wrong to write off Cristiano Ronaldo just because he is 37 and without a club.
Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri urges not to dismiss Ronaldo
Even though Shaqiri has been singled out as the Swiss team’s primary source of inspiration, he insists that the team’s collective skill will ultimately determine its fate. In June, when the two teams met again in the Nations League, Portugal won 4-0 in Lisbon thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the Swiss got their own back by winning 1-0 in Geneva a week later. However, Shaqiri claims that previous results are meaningless under the intense pressure of a World Cup quarterfinal match.
“You cannot write off Cristiano, he is one of the best players in the world together with (Lionel) Messi,” Shaqiri told reporters after training on Sunday.
“This guy can score any second, any minute, he has experience and everyone knows how important he is for Portugal and for his team,” added the former Liverpool.
“We have to know also the other players because it is not only Ronaldo, they have very good players, young players who can make a big difference and we need to give really a very good performance because its knockout and anything can happen in the 95-100 minutes and we are looking forward to it,” he said.
“The key is to have a special performance from the whole team. There are no Cristianos in our team, we need to have the whole team to be successful. If everyone sticks together, everyone goes to their highest level of performance, I am sure we have a chance to go through,” he said.