World Cup 2022: Why Ronaldo Scares Shaqiri Ahead of World Cup Showdown

World Cup 2022: Why Ronaldo Scares Shaqiri Ahead of World Cup Showdown

  • Xherdan Shaqiri has said that Cristiano Ronaldo is still on top of his game
  • He feels Switzerland will need to be wary ahead of their World Cup meeting
  • Ronaldo is in at his fifth World Cup, while Shaqiri hopes to spring an upset

Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri has hailed Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of their Round of 16 showdown.

The Swiss ended their group stage with a comeback win over Serbia, while Portugal were stunned by South Korea, who secured a last-gasp winner to progress to the knockout stage.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Cristiano Ronaldo, 2022 World Cup, Portugal, Switzerland
Xherdan Shaqiri says although Portugal are coming off a loss, Cristiano Ronaldo remains a dangerous player. Photos by Justin Setterfield and Sebastian Frej.
Source: Getty Images

Although the Selecao have a star-studded squad, the Rossocrociati have demonstrated in the past that they can hang with the best in the world. In last year's Euros, they knocked out 2018 World Cup winner France.

Portugal should therefore be ready for a feisty encounter. Their captain Ronaldo is yet to light up Qatar, scoring one penalty against Ghana as he still hopes to inspire his team against a quality side.

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In their Nations League meeting, Ronaldo scored twice as his team thrashed the Swiss 4-0 in June this year. A-Team Nati returned the favour by beating Os Navegadores 1-0 at home.

Shaqiri wary of Ronaldo

According to Goal, Shaqiri praised Ronaldo, saying he's still one of the best in the world.

“You cannot write off Cristiano, he is one of the best players in the world together with (Lionel) Messi. This guy can score any second, any minute, he has experience and everyone knows how important he is for Portugal and for his team.”

According to the Analyst, Switzerland also beat Portugal 2-0 in the teams' only clash at a major tournament at Euro 2008.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, UEFA Nations League, Portugal, 2022 World Cup
The last time these two met, Switzerland won 1-0. Photo by Paulo Oliveira.
Source: Getty Images

Murat Yakin's side have never won three games in a single World Cup tournament. In the group stages, they won twice, and goal difference separated them from Brazil.

The Swiss haven't made the quarters since they hosted the tournament in 1954, while Portugal have qualified for the last eight just twice.

Surprisingly, the Portuguese last won in a major tournament knockout stage in the 2006 World Cup, where they beat the Netherlands on penalties.

Shaqiri equals Messi, Ronaldo's record

Sports Brief earlier reported on Shaqiri joining Ronaldo and Messi on an elite goalscoring list. The 31-year-old scored Switzerland's opener in their game against Serbia to set new personal and national milestones.

Shaqiri is now one of three players who scored in the last three World Cups. The other two are Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi.

Shaqiri has also become the first Swiss player to score in three consecutive World Cups and the second-highest Swiss scorer in the tournament.