World Cup 2018 Preview: Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo May Be Facing His Toughest Challenge Yet in Uruguay

Ronaldo got off to a hot start in the World Cup, but was held without a goal in his most recent contest

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is widely recognized as one of the most lethal strikers in football, and not just for this era, but in the entire history of the sport itself.

During this current World Cup run, Ronaldo has again displayed that his striking prowess is elite, though his next contest could serve as a true test for his abilities.

Next up for Portugal is a Knockout Phase clash with Uruguay, and while the Luis Suarez–Cristiano Ronaldo matchup will garner its share of headlines, the more fascinating thing to watch may be Ronaldo trying to find a way past the defense.

Uruguay's defense has looked impressive thus far in the tournament, ceding no goals to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia during the Group Phase.

Making the challenge even greater for Ronaldo is that Uruguay is well-aware of the importance of stopping or, at the very least, containing him.

Speaking recently to BBC Radio 5 Live, a former member of the Uruguay national team Diego Forlan said that keeping Ronaldo in check is "stopping 50 percent of Portugal."

It's hard to disagree with Forlan, as Ronaldo's impact is such that he can indeed carry his side to victory if he gets rolling.

For Uruguay, a gameplan that involves focusing on Ronaldo defensively could provide them with a path to victory.

As for Portugal, they will need Ronaldo to rediscover the form he showed to start the World Cup.

During the Group Phase game against Spain, Ronaldo was precise and efficient with his attacks, leading to goals piling up. In his last two contests against Morocco and Iran, Ronaldo appeared off-target, taking a combined 11 shots and converting only one, per ESPN.

Ronaldo cannot afford to be inaccurate again in his next game because failing to hit on those shots time and time again will open the door for Uruguay to claim the win.

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