EURO 2020 Update: Ronaldo Crash Out of the Competition Empty Handed
All thoughts of this being a potentially record-breaking night had gone. For all Ronaldo is labelled as an egotist who puts his own achievements ahead of those of the team, when playing for his country at major tournaments, only winning matters to the 36-year-old star.
Despite some flashes, though, he could not conjure the old magic that led him to become one of the greatest players the world has ever seen. Portugal’s defence of their title is over, and so might be Ronaldo’s European Championship career.
We should not, of course, rule out a 39-year-old Ronaldo making it to Germany in 2024. Nothing should ever be ruled out when it comes to Ronaldo.
And given the relative whimper with which Portugal bowed out here, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner may well fancy one last shot at continental glory, particularly if he fails in his quest for a World Cup winners’ medal at Qatar 2022.
For now, though, Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates will reflect on a night when, despite the quality of the players in the Belgium team, the game was there for them to win.
Despite this being a night where Ronaldo was sharing a pitch with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, this was a match that lacked in quality and ended up being defined as much by its stop-start nature as tempers flared as anything else.