December 21, 2022
It was not that long ago that Ronaldo and Portugal secured their first international title, when they managed to wrap up the EURO 2016 trophy in France...
One of the main topics of discussion throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been Cristiano Ronaldo. His interview with Piers Morgan on the eve of the tournament - and his subsequent release from Manchester United - was an intense subplot. Then, CR7 being dropped from the starting lineup for the 6-1 drubbing of Switzerland in the second round also made international headlines. But while Ronaldo looks to be on the decline, his nemesis, Lionel Messi, is going from strength to strength. Oddschecker, which compares World Cup odds and offers, made Argentina second favourites for the trophy heading to Qatar, and their Paris-based magician led them to victory at the Lusail Stadium.
For Ronaldo on the other hand, it was more international heartbreak. He and his Navegadores teammates were favourites to advance to the semifinals when they were drawn against African underdogs, Morocco. But it was the Atlas Lions who prevailed thanks to a shock 1-0 victory which made them the first African semifinalists in the history of the tournament.
But it wasn't always this way. Let's take a look at Ronaldo's finest moment.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Ronaldo and Portugal campaign at the EURO 2016
July 10th, 2016 is a date that will go down in history when it comes to the career of Cristiano Ronaldo. That was the day that Portugal beat France 1-0 in the Euro 2016 final - in Paris no less - with the great man leading his country to their first major championship.
The then Real Madrid star had suffered an injury early in the first half of the final and had to be substituted. Rather than sulk though, as we have seen in recent weeks, he acted as an assistant to manager Fernando Santos. His passion was clear to see and may have indirectly contributed to the only goal of the match. That was scored by striker Éder - who hadn’t scored in 13 appearances prior to his big moment - in the 109th minute, giving his team the win.
The path to the final was not an easy one for Portugal. In the group stage, they couldn’t manage a single victory against Iceland, Hungary, or Austria. They drew all three games and finished third in the group. But courtesy of this tournament being extended from 16 to 24 teams, they passed through to the last 16, and from there, they never looked back.
In the knockout stages, they faced Croatia in the last 16, with Ricardo Quaresma scoring a 117th-minute winner. In the quarterfinal, Portugal faced Poland. It was a tight match, with Poland having the better of the chances, but it was Ronaldo who opened the scoring late in the second half before Nani added a second in the dying minutes to secure Portugal’s place in the semifinals.
In the semifinals they faced Wales, who had previously stunned Belgium 3-1 in the quarterfinals. The first half turned out to be nail-biting, with both teams having chances to score. In the end, it was the Portuguese who prevailed. Two goals in three minutes shortly after half time from Ronaldo and Nani secured a 2-0 victory and a spot in the Stade de France showpiece.
In the final, Portugal had to face hosts France, who were heavily favored to win. This match was a tight affair as expected, especially after a Ronaldo injury early in the first half. Ultimately, it was Éder who scored the winning goal though, crowning Portugal the champions of Europe.
Ronaldo's performance throughout the tournament was nothing short of exceptional. He scored 3 goals and had 1 assist. His headed goal in the semifinal was the standout. His leadership and determination also played a key role in Portugal's victory, and his injury in the final only made his feat more heroic.
It was a historic moment for Portugal, who won their first-ever European Championship. After the match, Ronaldo spoke of his pride in his team and thanked the Portuguese people for their support. It was a truly special moment for the country, and for their captain, who secured his spot on the Mount Rushmore of football in the process.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United in the Premier League is on December 21, against Burnley. You can watch Manchester United vs Burnley, Croatia vs Morocco, Aston Villa vs Liverpool, Manchester City vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs West Ham, and Brentford vs Spurs, all matches provided from our football streaming game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Man United vs Burnley kick-off time (21-12-2022):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 04:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 01:30
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 21:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 17:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 12:00