How Does Ronaldo's Euro Record Compare to Other International Feats?

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The European Championship's Greatest

Cristiano Ronaldo is not just regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, but one of the best athletes of all time as his unrivalled goalscoring record only distances itself further from the rest of the world year on year. His supreme natural talent partnered with his undying work rate has preserved him at the top level for almost two decades. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner now boasts over 700 goals in his legendary career and 18 of those have come at international tournaments.

After his brace against Hungary in Portugal’s group opener and a further goal against Germany, Ronaldo propelled himself to becoming the top scorer in European Championship history with 12 and still counting. This takes him clear of Michel Platini who previously held the record with nine, which he scored in one tournament at Euro 1984.

We take a look at how Ronaldo's record compares to other greats on continents around the world.

The World Cup's greatest

Whilst Pele holds the record for most goals in a final and World Cups in general, the Brazilian tracks a little behind compatriot Ronaldo and the German legend, Miroslav Klose.

Klose holds the record for most goals at the World Cup with 16 goals for his country, which came across four World Cups. The prolific Marksman broke Ronaldo's record of 15 by scoring in Germany’s infamous 7-1 route against, ironically, Brazil, on Brazilian soil. Ronaldo famously looked on from the stands as his nation were obliterated in arguably the most memorable World Cup match of all time.

Leading the line at 35 in recent times is a rarity, especially at the top level where physicality and mobility are so heavily required. Klos, however, managed to roll back the years by reacting instinctively and finishing after a save by Julio Cesar, and every single goal he scored for Germany at the finals was a very typical Klose-esque goal from a few yards out.

With 16 goals from 24 games at the World Cup, nobody comes close to German's greatest-ever marksmen, who netted a total of 71 goals for his nation.

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Michel Platini's era was the greatest

The aforementioned Michel Platini was the previous record holder for the most goals at the Euros with nine. However, the magnificent Frenchman managed to score all nine goals in a single tournament in 1984 where France managed to win the tournament as Platini went on to win the second of his three consecutive Ballon d’Or wins.

The magic France midfielder was part of a great French squad including the likes of Bordeaux legends, Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse. The three of them set the tournament alight by controlling games for the French on their way to the European Championship trophy.

Despite Ronaldo's superiority across almost two decades worth of Euros, Platini's one tournament will go down as arguably the best-ever from a European perspective at a major tournament.

The Copa America greatest

Zizinho and Norberto Mendez share the record for the most Copa America goals with 17 each.

Zizinho, to this day, remains an icon in Brazilian football history and he is most remembered for his mesmerising performances at the 1950 World Cup. Arguably the greatest of all time, Pele, said he idolised Zizinho more than any other player and regarded him as a complete footballer, and, the mercurial Brazilian scored five on the way to Brazil’s Copa America victory in 1949.

Mendez, on the other hand, was part of an Argentinean side that won three Copa America titles and scored 17 goals in 17 games in the competition, which in terms of a goal to game ratio, is the best on this list. The attacking midfielder left a legacy in Argentine football, paving the way for the like of Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi to break his records set at national level.

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North America's top marksman

American Legend, Landon Donovan, is arguably the greatest talent to emerge from North America, amongst the likes of Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Hugo Sanchez and at the very least, alongside Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic, he's arguably the best American to ever do it.

Donovan scored 18 goals in the Gold Cup which he won three times with the United States. He was influential on all three occasions scoring three in 2005 on their way to a shootout victory against Panama. In 2007, they would lift the trophy again relying on his four goals throughout the tournament where they managed to come from behind and defeat Mexico 2-1 in the final.

The LA Galaxy legend then saved what was possibly his best performance for last in 2013, where five goals came, including a brace in a 3-1 victory against Honduras.

By Agbolade Ibitola


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