Portuguese press hail 'brilliant' Ronaldo

Portugal's press hailed Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday for his two goals against the Netherlands that took the national side through to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

"Great Portugal, brilliant Ronaldo," the leading sports daily A Bola said. "With Cristiano Ronaldo playing like that, no-one will stop Portugal," the newspaper said, describing the Real Madrid star's performance as "sumptuous wizardry".

"A supernova and a team of giants," wrote A Bola's competitor Record in its analysis of the Portuguese players' performances, following the 2-1 victory in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Sunday night.

"Take that!" said a front-page headline over a photo of "CR7" celebrating a goal and responding to his critics who had questioned his under-par performances in the first two Group C games.

Ronaldo "reacted like a champion and it was decisive", said A Bola, pointing out that he had become the first Portuguese player to score in five different major international tournaments.

In doing so, "Portugal's big star of the moment has outshone the others in our history", it added.

"Orange squashed by Ronaldo genius," said the Correio da Manha while Publico breathed a sigh of relief that the Selecao were through to the knock-out stages.

"Ronaldo starts his Euro (and) Portugal survives the 'group of death' with flair," it added, while columnist Bruno Prata, who a few days ago had said the player needed to see a psychologist to overcome his goal-shy tendencies, was impressed.

"Ronaldo was a whirlwind," Pata said.

"CR7 has once again bettered himself. He scored twice and led a classy team to victory," the Diario de Noticias, acknowledging that "Ronaldo had silenced his detractors with two goals and a golden boot performance".

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