Cristiano Ronaldo – the goalscoring Methuselah proves all doubters wrong

Cristiano Ronaldo – the goalscoring Methuselah proves all doubters wrong
Cristiano Ronaldo – the goalscoring Methuselah proves all doubters wrong

Goalscorer without limits: Cristiano Ronaldo is 39 years old and still plays for the Portuguese national team. While people are still wondering whether the ageing star is even good enough for a high-class European Championship tournament, he is providing answers on the pitch.

It was almost as if he had never left. For a year and a half, Cristiano Ronaldo, 39 years old, has been playing for the club Al-Nassr FC in the Saudi Professional League. In sporting terms, the league is not exactly top class, even though Ronaldo is joined by other ageing stars such as Neymar and Sadio Mané, who are raking in millions of dollars in their accounts.

Now Ronaldo is likely to make his last appearance on the big football stage with Portugal’s national team at the European Championships – and of course the question is whether the goalscoring Methuselah can keep up. The short answer is: Yes, and how! In Portugal’s last friendly match against Ireland, he put in an impressive performance and proved all doubters wrong. The Seleção beat their opponents 3-0 in Alveiro. Ronaldo scored two goals. It was a bit like his best days, when Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were the measure of all things in world football.

Cristiano Ronaldo: It’s passion

In the first half he hit the post with one of his typical free kicks, and after the break the attacker turned up the heat in a team that has numerous other top players such as Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes. He scored the first goal in the 50th minute after a stepover, spectacularly into the top corner, and he scored the second ten minutes later after an assist from Silva. He hit the side netting once. He showed off his famous goal dive, made theatrical claims in several scenes and was clearly taking the game seriously. It is clear that someone is stepping up to prove to the world that he can keep up after a year and a half in Saudi Arabia. “Playing for the national team is a passion, it is a love,” Ronaldo had previously said in an interview with UEFA.

Portugal’s national coach Roberto Martinez now knows that he can hardly do without the superstar. Portuguese media spoke of Ronaldo’s best performance since Martínez took over the team in January 2023. “It looked like he (Ronaldo) still had a lot to say at his last European Championship,” wrote Spain’s sports newspaper “Marca”.

He hits and hits and hits

If you look at the superstar’s goal tally, there has never been a lull. In 45 matches for Al-Nassr, Ronaldo scored 44 goals. In the European Championship qualifiers, he was the Seleção’s record scorer with ten goals. Against Ireland, in his 207th international match, he scored international goals 129 and 130. Now he has the opportunity to break his own European Championship goal record of 14 goals. This is his sixth European Championship appearance.

He will probably break the record. Ronaldo has a well-rehearsed team at his side. The 2016 European champions qualified for the European Championships flawlessly, winning ten games in ten (albeit against easy opponents). Most recently, the Portuguese lost 2-1 to Croatia, but Ronaldo was missing. Against Ireland, the team appeared to be one piece, playing with variety and force. Portugal and Ronaldo are definitely ready for the European Championships.

Sources: DPA, “”, ,

Source: Stern

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