|Ballon d'Or within Ronnie's grasp|
The Real Madrid forward timed his run to perfection before connecting to a Joao Moutinho cross and powerfully heading the ball which deflected off the ground and past Petr Cech in the Czechs goal.
The match lacked fireworks of a quarter-final match in the first half with both teams reluctant to push forward. The Seleccao were the better team after the interval but found it hard to breach the Czech defence, and when they did, Petr Cech mopped up everything within sight.
The match looked to be heading for extra time before Ronaldo popped up with the bullet header just 11 minutes before English referee Howard Webb blew the final whistle.
Spain or France awaits Paulo Bento’s men in the semis. The Portuguese are no longer also-rans, not with CR7 looking the complete article that he undoubtedly is. The 27-year-old’s third goal in the competition made all the difference against the Central Europeans and he seems to have finally shrugged off the curse that has seen him falter to deceive under the national team colours time and again.
The chants "Messi!, Messi!" in the second match in the group stages against Denmark drew angry reactions from the Madeira-born forward-cum-winger. But it looks like it also put fireworks in his belly if his recent performances are anything to go by.
He, more than anyone else, knows that lifting the Euro 2012 championships will indisputably and deservedly put the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on a silver platter for him. If his season with La Liga champions Real Madrid wasn't enough to earn him the world player of the year gong, then a European Championship medal or even a runners-up one certainly will.
And how he would like to finally get one over football nemesis Lionel Messi after failing to do so in the last three years! He’s only one win away from the finals, two from lifting the cup.
Who says he can’t do it?
Meanwhile Germany take on Greece Friday night in the second quarterfinal.
The Die Mannschaft are yet to lose or even draw a game in the championships thus far and are the only team to emerge from the group stages with a 100% win record.
They will be looking to extend that run against the 2004 champions in an encounter that will also have political undertones thanks to the economic crisis facing the Hellenic nation.
Germany have never lost to Greece. They have also won all their five previous quarter-final matches in the Euro championships and gone on to reach the finals.
Germany 3-0 Greece
And That's thesteifmastertake!!