Jun 13, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT
Young Cristiano Ronaldo burst on the international scene in 2004, helping energize the home side as Portugal rode the back end of that fabled Golden Generation into a European Championship final. (Portugal lost to Greece in the final.)
Ronaldo matched two goals with two assists in that tournament, mostly off the bench. He was just 19 at the time, a boy not yet grown into the man’s body we know today.
But he did ignite the fire of promise, didn’t he?
Ronaldo’s team claimed three big points Wednesday, staying alive in the Group of the Non-Life with a 3-2 win over the Danes (which threw Group D into temporary chaos, pending the afternoon outcome.)
But what of Ronaldo and his tendency to fade (and that’s being kind) major tournaments – not since that first one, at least. Really, it’s bigger than that; he seems to shrink generally in the national shirt. As for major tournaments specifically, the undeniably gifted attacker is better known for foul-mouthed tirades, petulance and embellishment than for brilliance, than for driving his team with goals and leadership. To wit: Ronaldo has five goals in 21 World Cup or European Championship matches.
So far in Poland-Ukraine, two games, no goals – and a couple of notorious misses that could have cratered his country’s Euro ambitions. Compare his two-year record at Real Madrid, where Ronaldo has poured in goals at a phenomenal rate, 113 in 109 appearances.
So, will we ever see such a handsome sum in a major tournament? Will we ever see the Ronaldo in a Portuguese kit as we see him for in the kit of the Bernabeu? His numbers at World Cups and Euros so far:
ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
Pique speaks of his handball in Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid: “It was unintentional.”
Oct 25, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT
The L.A. Galaxy and Seattle Sounders are scoreless through 45 minutes at CenturyLink in Washington.
Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Leeds United have fired manager Darko Milanic after only 32 days leading the squad.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
Several fun games whet the appetite for a massive top of table Sunday tilt between Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT
With six games on Saturday in the PL, here’s what happened.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
Wilfried Bony scored both goals for Swans, 2-0, who cruised to the win against the suddenly-struggling Foxes.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT
Will the Sounders handle the Galaxy and expectations to clinch home-field throughout the playoffs?
Oct 25, 2014, 1:54 PM EDT
“Maybe they [Stoke] created two possibilities, not chances and that’s a great team effort,” Koeman said of his Saints.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT
Despite going behind earlier, Real came roaring back to win the first El Clasico of 2014-15.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
Watch and enjoy, then follow the second half live on NBC and online via Live Extra.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT
Neymar and Ronaldo stealing the show so far, as four on yellows for Barca. Live updates, here:
Oct 25, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT
Pellegrini magnanimous in defeat, but City could be eight points off top spot by the end of the weekend.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT
Reds thwarted by stubborn Tigers, as Balotelli fires a blank once again.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
West Brom won the shots battle 17-8 and carried nearly 70 percent of the possession by the time all was said and done.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
It was 1-0 at half, and it was all the Saints would need.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Arsenal make the most of awful errors from Sunderland.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT
Eighth-place Swans will host the suddenly-struggling Foxes as both teams look to rebuild momentum after good starts to the season.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Follow El Clasico here with live updates, as Suarez starts with his four month ban over.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Watch the second half of every match live, right here.
Oct 25, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Watch this hilarious video, as Brand gives Big Sam a smooch.
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