For a player that has devoted his career to bettering himself, and scaling new heights, Cristiano Ronaldo will hope to pen another fabulous chapter with Portugal at Euro 2020. The Juventus superstar has been at the centre of an ongoing debate with Lionel Messi over who is the greatest footballer of all time for the best part of two decades. However, this summerRonaldo won’t have the distraction of his Argentine nemesis to contend with.
Having ended his elusive wait for an international trophy five years ago at Euro 2016, Ronaldo is likely to be instrumental once again as Portugal to seek to cling onto the coveted prize. Ronaldo is already among the pantheon of footballing legends, but what else could he achieve in the summer? In this guide, we will take a closer look at the milestones that Ronaldo could reach, and what you should expect from Portugal.
Ronaldo the record chaser
There’s scarcely a record that Ronaldo hasn’t broken at club level. On the international scene, he is hungry for more. He’s in the autumn of his career at the grand old age of 36, and this could well be his last appearance at a European Championship finals. He is poised to appear in his fifth edition of the tournament, which would see him strike it out alone as 17 men have appeared at four editions of the Euros.
Ronaldo is also currently tied at the top with France legend Michel Platini for most goals at the European Championship finals, with nine. In terms of the UEFA Euro 2020 betting for the golden boot market, Ronaldo is currying favour, as he is fourth favourite to be the highest goalscorer. Of course, Ronaldo will face stiff competition from Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane to snaffle that individual accolade.
If Ronaldo can steer Portugal to the final, he could become the oldest goalscorer at a European Championship final. Previously, only one player over the age of 30 has scored in the showpiece game, which was Bernd Holzenbein, and he was 30 years and 103 days old when he planted home West Germany’s equaliser against the Czech Republic. Ronaldo would be 36 years and 156 days old on 11 July, which is the date of the Euro 2020 decider, and he will be champing at the bit to be there.
Portugal and escaping Group F
More pressingly, Ronaldo and Portugal will have to figure out a way of escaping Group F. Dubbed the ‘Group of Death’, Portugal will have to navigate some choppy waters, as they have been pitted with France, Germany, and Hungary.
For Portugal, they begin their title defence in Budapest against Hungary which should be a confidence booster. But Germany and France both have designs on the competition, and they will pose a significant threat.
Portugal’s squad is brimming with talent, especially when you look at midfield where Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva will look to pull the strings. Ronaldo is still the go-to player, but he may not be able to single-handedly steer his country through the group stages, and the supporting cast will need to step up and be counted for. If Ronaldo can help punch Portugal’s ticket to the last 16, it would be one of his greatest feats at a major international tournament.