Cristiano Ronaldo crowned fans’ favourite player of 21st Century ahead of Euro 2020

  • Rob Swan

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Although it would be silly to write him off appearing at Euro 2024, there’s every chance that Euro 2020 will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s final appearance at a European Championship.

The legendary forward helped Portugal win Euro 2016 and will be acutely aware that triumphing again this summer would further enhance his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Ahead of the tournament, BBC Sport published a 64-man shortlist comprised of the 21st Century’s best European players.

The 64 footballers were split into 16 different groups (A-P). The player in each group who received the most votes from fans advanced to the last 16.

The eight who prevailed in the last 16 went to the quarter-finals, four advanced to the semis, while two battled it out in the final.

And it was Ronaldo who eventually claimed the title of fans’ favourite European player of the 21st Century.

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Group stage results

Group A: 1. Thierry Henry (63%), 2. Luis Figo (17%), Arjen Robben (9%), Kylian Mbappe (7%).

Group B: 1. Cristiano Ronaldo (78%), 2. Luka Modric (11%), Harry Kane (9%), Karim Benzema (2%).

Group C: 1. Kevin De Bruyne (35%), 2. Patrick Vieira (28%), 3. Sergio Ramos (23%), 4. Edwin van der Sar (14%).

Group D: 1. Zinedine Zidane (74%), 2. Wayne Rooney (18%), 3. Iker Casillas (7%), 4. Pepe (1%).

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Group E: 1. Clarence Seedorf (29%), 2. Gareth Bale (28%), 3. Pavel Nedved (24%), 4. Franck Ribery (19%).

Group F: 1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (48%), 2. N'Golo Kante (26%), 3. Fernando Torres (15%), 4. Michael Owen (11%).

Group G: 1. Paul Scholes (39%), 2. Fabio Cannavaro (23%), 3. Ruud van Nistelrooy (19%), 4. Henrik Larsson (19%).

Group H: 1. Paolo Maldini (57%), 2. Cesc Fabregas (16%), 3. Raul (14%), Manuel Neuer (13%).

Group I: 1. Steven Gerrard (44%), 2. Gianluigi Buffon (37%), 3. Thomas Muller (13%), 4. Alessandro Nesta (6%).

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Group J: 1. David Beckham (51%), 2. Robert Lewandowski (36%), 3. John Terry (8%), 4. Deco (5%).

Group K: 1. Xavi (66%), 2. Eden Hazard (14%), 3. Oliver Kahn (10%), 4. Petr Cech (10%).

Group L: 1. Alessandro del Piero (42%), 2. Frank Lampard (30%), 3. Virgil van Dijk (18%), 4. Andriy Shevchenko (10%).

Group M: 1. Dennis Bergkamp (62%), 2. Carles Puyol (14%), 3. Philipp Lahm (13%), 4. Nemanja Vidic (11%).

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Group N: 1. Andrea Pirlo (58%), 2. Robin van Persie (20%), 3. Rio Ferdinand (14%), 4. Ashley Cole (8%).

Group O: 1. Xabi Alonso (38%), 2. David Silva (31%), 3. Vincent Kompany (19%), 4. Gerard Pique (12%).

Group P: 1. Andres Iniesta (51%), 2. Alan Shearer (27%), 3. Francesco Totti (17%), 4. David Villa (5%).

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Last 16 results

(Scores represent percentage of the vote)…

Thierry Henry 43-57 Cristiano Ronaldo

Kevin De Bruyne 17-83 Zinedine Zidane

Clarence Seedorf 33-67 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Paul Scholes 39-61 Paolo Maldini

Steven Gerrard 43-57 David Beckham

Xavi 66-34 Alessandro Del Piero

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Andrea Pirlo 45-55 Dennis Bergkamp

Andres Iniesta 80-20 Xabi Alonso

Quarter-final results

Cristiano Ronaldo 51% - 49% Zinedine Zidane

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 42% - 58% Paolo Maldini

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David Beckham 45% - 55% Xavi

Dennis Bergkamp 47% - 53% Andres Iniesta

Semi-final results

Cristiano Ronaldo 62% - 38% Paolo Maldini

Xavi 28% - 72% Andres Iniesta

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Final result

Cristiano Ronaldo 56% - 44% Andres Iniesta

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Legends everywhere but it was five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo who claimed the crown, defeating Barcelona and Spain hero Andres Iniesta in the final.

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Congratulations, Cristiano!

Euro 2020 predictions (The Football Terrace)

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Where was Cristiano Ronaldo born?

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