Cristiano Ronaldo missed his first penalty at Euro 2016 over the weekend, which saw his side also draw 0-0 against Austria.
It almost sounds like an impossible notion for the Real Madrid talisman, who has enjoyed yet another sublime campaign for his club, which ended in Champions League glory in Milan.
But for all his impressive record making, one thing continues to elude him, he can’t win a major tournament with his home nation, Portugal.
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The closest he has come was the 2004 European Championships. The final in Lisbon was his stage, but the Greek made sure the Portuguese didn't have their own way on their own turf. After half time, Angelos Charisteas nodded home an Angelos Basinas cross, which quashed Ronaldo's hopes of lifting the trophy.
The whole world watched as Greece lifted the trophy, reducing Ronaldo to tears, and whilst some mocked him, most football fans sympathised.
Fast forward, and still Euro and World Cup glory have continued to elude Ronaldo, leaving many to wonder why this starlet just can’t find the winning formula like he does in his club career.
Here are two potential reasons why Ronaldo cannot replicate his impressive club form on the national stage.
Head and Shoulders Above Team-mates
With all due respect to Ronaldo’s team-mates, the forward stands in a class above his peers. So much so, that it feels like he should be in a Brazil side rather than Portugal’s.
While Ronaldo is leading the attack with a surging run, his support network seems to slow the pace of his game, leaving him isolated and waiting for them to catch up.
However, his form for country is a far cry from the form we see for Real Madrid.
Perhaps having the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema playing alongside you makes a lot of difference. We’ve seen the same with national teams like England. Great individual talents at club level, but lack the camaraderie when put together for their country.
Other young stars who have come through with Ronaldo, the likes of Luis Nani, Joao Moutinho, and Pepe have performed on the club stage but just haven’t reached the peak for Portugal.
It often leaves fans and pundits alike wondering why.
Missed out on the 'Golden Generation'
Portugal has had some fantastic talents over the years with the legendary, Eusebio being the most famous of all.
Ronaldo was unfortunately born outside of the age brackets to make him qualify for the so-called Portuguese ‘Golden Generation’.
The greats of that time like Barcelona’s Deco, AC Milan’s Rui Costa and Real Madrid’s Luis Figo were in the peak of their career when Ronaldo was just breaking through the ranks.
So by the time he reached a level where he was at his best, they were either retired or in the mature stages of their career – in short, passed their best.
For Cristiano Ronaldo, this has to be a regret because he could surely have won something with these players as his supporting cast.
The talent was certainly there, and so was the team ethic to win.
Euro 2016 could represent the last real chance for Ronaldo to enjoy success on the national stage, with the 2018 World Cup coming around when he's a mature 33-years-old.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo ever taste success with Portugal? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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