- Cristiano Ronaldo did Cristiano Ronaldo things in Portugal’s opening match of Euro 2020.
- With his remarkable performance, he solidified himself as the greatest soccer player of all-time.
- Click HERE for more EURO 2020 news!
Age is but a number to Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old Portugal captain received his first cap with the country’s national team in 2003 and he continues to put on a show every time he steps on the pitch. Tuesday’s UEFA European Championships match was no exception.
Portugal faced Hungary to begin its campaign as part of the brutal Group F. Largely considered the ‘Group of Death,’ it also houses title contenders France and Germany. The opening match was held in Budapest, where the tournament’s only full-capacity crowd was in full voice.
Unfortunately for the host country, Hungary and its 61,000 supporters were met by the wrath of Ronaldo.
For more than a moment, it looked like there was a chance. The first half presented opportunities for the visitors but the Sultan of Stepover could not convert on a tremendous cross into the box.
Ronaldo can’t believe he missed this 😵 pic.twitter.com/j7ZribVwkw
— BroBible (@BroBible) June 15, 2021
After going scoreless through the first 84 minutes, things escalated very quickly.
Raphaël Guerreiro opened the scoring and the Navigators were off to the races.
Three minutes later, it was redemption time for No. 7. Portugal drew a penalty and Ronaldo was clinical with his attempt to go ahead 2-0.
Moments before the final whistle blew, Portugal pieced together a beautiful push into the box. Ronaldo got the ball on the end of a give-and-go, made the keeper look silly and scored his second goal of the day.
Liquid football from Portugal and Ronaldo 😍
He's now scored 106 international goals 🤯 pic.twitter.com/AhNbGXBXXM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 15, 2021
The goal itself was art.
The 33-pass Portugal goal from above.
Finished off beautifully by Cristiano Ronaldo. Champagne football.pic.twitter.com/5ytLykqTzo
— The CR7 Timeline. (@TimelineCR7) June 15, 2021
With that being said, the magnitude of Ronado’s brace is the biggest takeaway.
For him to get the start was significant in itself. He became the first-ever player to compete in five EURO Championships and by scoring, he became the first-ever player to score in five EURO Championships. He also became the highest-scoring player in the history of the competition.
The accolades continue to accumulate for Ronaldo and it’s nearly impossible to deny his status as the Greatest Of All-Time.
Making the case.
For starters, Ronaldo is 36 and remains one of the best players in the world. To put that in comparison, Zinedine Zidane retired at 34, Ronaldinho moved to Flamengo at 32, Kaka retired at 35 and Iniesta moved to Vissel Kobe at 33.
Ronaldo is still playing for top-tier Juventus and consistently contributing on both the club and international level— he is the oldest player to ever score a brace in the history of the EUROs.
In addition, Lionel Messi has long been considered to be the counter-argument to Ronaldo’s GOAT title. BUT— Ronaldo leads the UEFA EUROs in scoring, while Messi doesn’t crack the top-20 in Copa America competition.
Now, one could say that Messi is more important for his country.
The difference between Ronaldo and Messi for their national teams is that Portugal can win an important final in Ronaldo’s absence, but in Messi’s absence, Argentina won’t even qualify for tournaments. Telling difference.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 15, 2021
However, before Ronaldo, Portugal never reached an international final. Before Messi, Argentina had reached 32 international finals. Debunked.
To add to Ronaldo’s resume, he has scored in EVERY one of his international tournaments and is the only player to score in 11 consecutive international tournaments:
- EURO — 2004
- World Cup — 2006
- EURO — 2008
- WC — 2010
- EURO — 2012
- WC — 2014
- EURO — 2016
- Confederations Cup — 2017
- WC — 2018
- UEFA Nations League — 2019
- EURO — 2020 (2021)
Ronaldo is the ALL-TIME top scorer in UEFA Champions League history. He is the ALL-TIME top scorer in EUROs history. And he is the ALL-TIME top scorer in the history of soccer. Everything about him is “ALL TIME.” Thus, he is the greatest of ALL-TIME.
There is only one mark left to break, and it might come as soon as his next match. Entering the tournament, he had scored 104 total goals for Portugal. He now has 106.
That number puts him behind only Iranian striker Ali Daei’s men’s record of 109 international goals scored. Should he get four more before the end of EURO 2020, there is no debate.
Whether you agree or not, he doesn’t care. He just keeps scoring.