Some say he’s the best footballer right now, some say he’s the GOAT, but either way, the burden will be on Cristiano Ronaldo to lead the Portuguese to a second straight Euro title at Euro 2020, something that only the Spaniards of 2008 and 2012 have done.
Ronaldo is extremely versatile as an attacking player, capable of playing on either wing as well as through the middle. While he prefers his right foot, his ‘weaker’ left foot is probably better than most other footballers’ strong boot. The 36-year-old’s pace seems unmatched in football today except maybe by Kylian Mbappe, who is 13 years his junior.
Ronaldo has also developed an extremely diverse arsenal of dribbling moves over the years and is one of the more proficient employers of the flip-flap as well. That’s all before mentioning Ronaldo’s finishing ability, which is a thing of beauty, exhibiting meticulous technical ability and feel in the box as well as jaw-dropping power and accuracy when he strikes it from outside.
Ronaldo’s club record is downright silly. He has scored 463 goals in 569 pro games, with an especially potent run of 311 goals in 292 games from 2009-2018 with Real Madrid. Ronaldo began with Manchester United, then spent the bulk of his career with Real before recently moving to Juventus, where he currently plays. He has won seven league titles, three league cups, and five Champions League titles over the course of his 19-year career.
He has also racked up an insane amount of individual honours. He has won five Ballon D’Ors, three FIFA Player of the Year awards, four European Golden Shoes, two PFA Player of the Year awards, and has been named the MVP in the La Liga and Serie A once each. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but you get it.
When he represents his country, Ronaldo is just as spicy. He has scored 102 goals in 170 caps, the second-highest mark in international footballing history. He sits just seven behind Iranian Ali Daei’s record of 109, and could possibly tie or break the record with a truly remarkable performance at this summer’s Euro 2020.
Portugal are the defending champs and so will have a bit of a target on their backs coming into the tournament, not to mention that they’ve been shoved into the Group of Death alongside other contenders in France and Germany. Portugal should be able to make it to the knockout stage, but not much further. Teams very rarely repeat, so just reaching the semi-finals would be an impressive finish for them this summer.
Ronaldo is a real threat to win the Top Goalscorer award at this summer’s Euro Championships. He is likely to play at least a game or two into the knockout stages, and with a bright and creative mind like Bruno Fernandes to play off up front, his prospects are positive. While he’s not the favorite, it’s always tough to bet against Ronaldo.