Cristiano Ronaldo might have played his final ever game at a European Championships.
Stunning Euro 2020 for Ronaldo
It’s been a remarkable summer for the Juventus superstar where he became the greatest striker in Euros history and equalled Ali Daei’s scoring record in men’s international football.
But despite Ronaldo‘s staggering achievement of scoring five goals at 36 years old, he was forced to watch his beloved Portugal team crash out against Belgium in the round of 16.
The Selecao were always facing an uphill battle against the team ranked number one in the world by FIFA when they had narrowly progressed through the ‘Group of Death’ in third.
Belgium vs Portugal Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Portugal crash out vs Belgium
And although Belgium were ultimately the worthy winners in Seville – securing a 1-0 win courtesy of Thorgan Hazard’s scorcher – you certainly can’t accuse Portugal of a lack of effort.
In fact, they had more than enough chances to hold on to their status as European champions, forcing Thibaut Courtois into key saves and watching in agony as they struck the post late on.
As such, Ronaldo was visibly frustrated when the referee blew the final whistle on what might be one of his final ever appearances at a major international tournament.
Ronaldo’s emotional FT reaction
Ronaldo was so emotional, in fact, that he decided to throw his captain’s armband on to the turf not once, but twice in a manner reminiscent of his anger with the ‘ghost goal’ against Serbia.
The first instance saw Ronaldo throw the fabric into the pitch upon the immediate declaration of the result with the repeat example showing him kick the armband as he headed for the dressing room.
However, there was also a heartwarming moment with one of his Belgium rivals to be appreciated, so be sure to check out Ronaldo’s impassioned full-time behaviour down below:
Special moment with Lukaku
Special praise is in order for Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku as he showed for the umpteenth time what a class act he is by comforting his fellow Serie A superstar as the defeat settled in.
It remains to be seen what the Inter Milan striker said to Ronaldo, but just because it couldn’t diffuse his frustration in the short-term, it didn’t make it any less thoughtful, sporting and respectful.
The autopsy into Portugal’s tournament will now be conducted with Fernando Santos’ men having only won their opening game against Hungary, which entered its final stages with the scores level.
Nevertheless, whatever you say about Portugal’s performances in what has been a brutal run of fixtures for them, you certainly can’t accuse Ronaldo of giving anything less than 200% effort.
If this is Ronaldo’s final ever game at the Euros, then he’s bowed out as its greatest ever player.