Published Wednesday, 17 October 2012
There was so much hype about the Portuguese captain before the World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland, and rightly so.
To win 100 caps for your country at the age of 27, score 14 goals in 11 games so far this season and be called the best player in the universe by 'the special one' Jose Mourinho is some going.
But instead of the match in Porto being all about one player, it turned out to be all about 11 players from Northern Ireland.
Michael O'Neill said that he was 'proud' to be Northern Ireland's manager after their performance, and he deserves as much credit as the team.
Although he's still in search of his first win, his tactics and hard work are clearly paying off.
Let's put this into perspective. Northern Ireland, ranked 117th by Fifa, came within 10 minutes of beating Portugal, who are third in the world.
And that same team have only lost ONE match in TWENTY EIGHT home World Cup Qualifiers.
It was a shame they couldn't get that famous victory but Northern Ireland have shown the footballing world once again that they are to be taken seriously.
They move up to fourth in Group F on two points, behind Portugal who are on seven.
Azerbaijan remain below them on one point, but make no mistake about it, next month's qualifier against them at Windsor Park won't be an easy one, they held group leaders Russia to a draw until the 84th minute on Tuesday.
On another note Oliver Norwood wins the prize for Northern Ireland's most proactive squad member.
Having the same agent as Rio Ferdinand, he made a call to the Manchester United defender last week knowing he's still in touch with Ronaldo.
That phone call secured the match shirt of one of today's greatest players, and I've been assured it will be framed and shown to the grandkids in years to come.