The 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is approaching the final years of his storied career. “I do not seek to break individual records; they will come naturally,” he often says.
Well, several international records have already been broken by the Madeira-born football genius during Euro 2020, and more could be on the way. PortuGOAL brings you an overview of the records that will further embellish the Portugal captain in the annuls of football’s all-time greats.
Ronaldo at Euros
Cristiano Ronaldo’s international scoring debut was made on the Euro-stage in 2004. In the first group match against Greece, Ronaldo scored the only goal for the Portuguese side, who lost 2-1 to the eventual champions Greece. That year, Ronaldo received a silver medal as Portugal finished in second place.
In 2008, Portugal had a second-round exit after a hard-fought game versus Germany. In 2012, Portugal was eliminated in the semi-finals after a close game versus Spain, who went onto crush Italy in the finals. In 2016, as we all remember, Ronaldo got injured in the final versus tournament favourites France. Ronaldo continued firing up his teammates from the side-lines, as the Seleção eventually ran out 1-0 winners in extra time.
Portugal has done exceptionally well at European Championships with Ronaldo in the team. And at Euro 2020, most people agree they have an even better team compared to 2016. Cristiano Ronaldo is well on-pace to break several records during this tournament. His group stage haul of 5 goals has already broken his personal scoring record at a major tournament.
- UEFA Euro 2004: 2 goals
- UEFA Euro 2008: 1 goal
- UEFA Euro 2012: 3 goals
- UEFA Euro 2016: 3 goals
- UEFA Euro 2020: 5 goals (so far)
Most goals at the Euro finals
As you can see above, prior to this summer’s competition, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored nine goals in total across four different Euros, which saw him tied with football legend Michel Platini of France. Platini had an unmatched tournament performance in the Euro 1984, where he scored all of his nine goals. Ronaldo’s five goals so far has seen him overtake Platini as the player to have scored the most goals in European Championship, his total now up to 14. Should Portugal make a deep run in the competition, CR7 may even be in with a shout of matching or bettering Platini’s 9 goals in a single tournament.
Most Euro championship wins as a captain
Spanish goalkeeper Ilker Casillas is the only team captain in history to have won two Euros. He did it with Spain in 2008 and 2012. Ronaldo lifted his first Euro trophy in 2016, and should the Seleção go all the way, Ronaldo will effectively share the record with Casillas, and with this in mind we would put in our betting tips EURO 2020 that Portugal will go to the final, and who knows, they might win again.
Most Euro matches won
Heading into the Euros, Ronaldo was tied with Cesc Fabregas, and Andrés Iniesta for most European Championship matches won. The three players were tied at 11 wins in total. While Portugal had a tough group, the group of death, the opening day victory against Hungary gave Ronaldo a total of 12 matches won in Euros, setting another all-time record.
Most Euro championships with at least two goals
When Ronaldo scored a brace against Germany, he became the only player in Euro history to score two goals in four separate Euro tournaments. Coming into the tournament, he was tied with Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimović with at least two goals in three separate Euro tournaments.
Most Euro campaigns
Ronaldo’s participation in the 2020 European Championships made him the player who has played the most Euro. This is his fifth European Championship… so far.
The big one: all-time international record for goals
The most high-profile record of all is now just one goal away. Iranian striker Ali Daei scored 109 goals for his country. Ronaldo’s brace against France on Wednesday drew the Portuguese legend level with Daei, making it inevitable that Cristiano will break the record for the all-time top scorer in men’s international football too. All of Portugal will be hoping he does so at this European Championship, starting against Belgium on Sunday.