At 36 years of age, Cristiano Ronaldo remains one of the most prolific goalscorers in world football. While the Portuguese international may not dictate play as much as he did in his earlier years, his impact is still unrivaled. Although Ronaldo scores plenty of goals in numerous competitions, he has a special relationship with the European Championships, and that’s continuing in 2020. With that, let’s look back at the 36-year-old’s record in the international tournament.
Leading by Example
Prior to Euro 2020, Ronaldo came into the competition as the joint-top goalscorer in European Championship history. With nine goals to his name, the attacker sat level with Michel Platini. However, as the tournament got underway, Ronaldo quickly picked up where he left off, scoring three goals across Portugal’s opening two matches against Hungary and Germany.
After an emphatic goalscoring start, the 36-year-old is +260 in the latest Euro 2020 odds to win the Golden Boot at the end of the tournament. At the time of writing, however, Ronaldo faces competition for the award from Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, who scored four goals in the Red Devils’ three group matches.
Unlike some players, Ronaldo finds the back of the net at all-important times. Aside from scoring the opening goal against Germany on matchday two, the 36-year-old also put the opening contest with Hungary to bed with two late strikes. It speaks volumes about Ronaldo’s physical conditioning and world-class ability that his latest European Championship goal comes 17 years after his first. At the Estadio do Dragao in 2004, the Juventus attacker scored a 93rd-minute goal in Portugal’s one-goal Group A defeat to Greece.
A Goalscoring Phenomenon
With 12 European Championship goals to his name, Ronaldo is unquestionably one of the best players to grace the international stage. En route to Portugal’s 2016 triumph, the 36-year-old played a pivotal role in Fernando Santos’ side’s success. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker scored twice and assisted another in a much-needed 3-3 draw with Hungary in the group stage. Moreover, Ronaldo also scored the opener and set up Nani in a 2-0 semi-final victory over Wales.
Ronaldo, who now holds the record for the most Euro goals in the competition’s history, isn’t slowing with age. Because of that, he’ll have further records in his sights. With 107 goals for his country, the Juventus striker is currently Europe’s all-time leading international goalscorer, 23 goals ahead of second-placed Ferenc Puskas. However, the 36-year-old has yet to cement his status as the most prolific international goalscorer in football history as Ronaldo is two goals behind Iran’s Ali Daei, and he will hope to break that record at Euro 2020.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Player
Ronaldo is a born winner, and it’s impossible to argue otherwise. The 36-year-old has enjoyed a career of trophy-winning success at the highest level, and his goals have contributed significantly to his collective triumphs. Because of his longevity, it’s unlikely that there will ever be another like him, so be sure to savor the Portuguese international while he’s still around.