Cristiano Ronaldo could break some more records at Euro 2020
The Portugal forward’s European records, the ones he can improve on, and the ones he wants to break.
Cristiano Ronaldo has spent much of his career attempting to rewrite the history of European football. He has his eyes set on a few more milestones as he approaches his fifth EURO final (a record, of course).
Here is a list of the EURO records he can break, extend, and those for which he will have to wait a few more years.
Beginning in 2000 with Lothar Matthäus and Peter Schmeichel, seventeen men have competed in four EURO tournaments. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them, and if he plays this summer, he will be on his own. He’s the final man standing from the group of 11 that took fourth place in 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal for Portugal against Greece on June 12, 2004, and has gone on to score eight more goals in 21 finals appearances since then. With nine goals, he is tied for second place in the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying group with France’s Michel Platini, who scored all of his goals during EURO ’84.
Cristiano Ronaldo (nine) (Portugal)
Michel Platini (nine) (France)
Alan Shearer (seven) (England)
The majority of appearances (including qualifying)
Cristiano Ronaldo only needs three more appearances to equal Gianluigi Buffon’s record of 58 appearances in EURO competition, qualification, and finals — the 36-year-old could finish the tournament with 63 appearances. His 56 games thus far have yielded 36 victories, 12 ties, and eight defeats.
58 Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
56 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
51 Mario Frick (Liechtenstein)
Most goals in a single finals game
Only seven men have scored hat-tricks in the European Championships, and Ronaldo is not among them. However, the Juventus forward has a respectable collection of international match balls, having scored nine hat-tricks for Portugal, including four in a game on two occasions.
Oldest scorer in a final
Bernd Hölzenbein, who was 30 years and 103 days old when he headed West Germany’s late equalizer against Czechoslovakia in 1976 to force extra time and, ultimately, Antonin Panenka’s place in penalty posterity, was the only player over 30 to score in a EURO final. On July 11, the date of the EURO 2020 final, Ronaldo will be 36 years and 156 days old.
Captains who have won multiple Euros
If Portugal wins at Wembley and Ronaldo retains the captaincy, he will join Spain’s Iker Casillas (2008 and 2012) as the only men to have led teams to two European Championship titles.
Ronaldo holds a number of European records.
The most appearances in the finals: 21
Ronaldo is in a league of his own, having only missed one match in each of his country’s last four campaigns – he sat out Portugal’s last group game against Switzerland in 2008, despite the fact that they had already qualified. Bastian Schweinsteiger, a former Germany midfielder who made 18 appearances, is his closest opponent.
Most goals include qualifying: 40.
If Ronaldo is in a league of his own in the previous category, he is on a different planet in this one. His 40 goals in Euro qualifying and finals are nearly as much as the next two players combined: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25) and Robbie Keane (23).
Scored in the most Euro final tournaments: four
Ronaldo scored two goals at EURO 2004, one in 2008, three in 2012, and three more in 2016, putting him ahead of seven other players who had scored three times at the tournament. He is still the only player to score three or more goals in multiple European Championships.