Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on February 5, 1985, and played as a forward for Manchester United in the Premier League. Ronaldo also captains the Portugal national football team. He has won four European Golden Shoes and five Ballon d’Or awards, the most by a European player. The UEFA European Championship, the UEFA Champions League, and seven league titles have been the most significant achievements in his career. Ronaldo holds the record for most appearances (183), goals (140), and assists (42) in the Champions League, as well as the record for most goals (14), international destinations (117), and international appearances by a European (191). As a professional career player, he has made over 1,100 appearances for the club and scored over 800 official senior career goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo International Career 2001–2007 Youth Level Debut
In 2001, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal’s under-15 team. Ronaldo played for the under-15, under-17, under-20, under-21, and under-23 national teams during his international youth career, earning 34 youth caps and tallying 18 goals. At 18, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal as a senior player in a 1-0 victory against Kazakhstan on August 20, 2003. He replaced Luis Figo at halftime. He was then selected for the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, which was held in his home nation.
On his eighth appearance for Portugal, in a 2-1 loss to eventual champions Greece in the group stage, he scored his first international goal. After converting his penalty in a shoot-out against England in the quarter-finals, he helped Portugal reach the final by scoring the opening goal in a 2–1 win over the Netherlands. They featured him in the tournament team, providing two assists in addition to his two goals. Ronaldo scored seven goals as Portugal’s second-highest scorer in their FIFA World Cup qualification group.
During the tournament, he scored his first World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick in Portugal’s second group-stage match. At the age of 21 years and 132 days, Ronaldo became the youngest-ever goalscorer for Portugal at a World Cup finals. In Portugal’s infamously dirty round of 16 matches against the Netherlands, I forced Ronaldo off injured in the first half after a tackle from Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz. Following Portugal’s 1–0 win, Ronaldo accused Boulahrouz of intentionally trying to hurt him, although he recovered in time to play in the next game.
In Portugal’s quarter-final against England, Ronaldo sent off Ronaldo’s Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. Although the referee later clarified that the red card was only due to Rooney’s infraction, the English media speculated that Ronaldo had influenced his decision by aggressively complaining, after which I saw him in replays winking at Portugal’s bench following Rooney’s dismissal. Ronaldo scored the vital winning penalty during the shoot-out, which sent Portugal into the semi-finals.
They subsequently booed Ronaldo during their 1–0 semi-final defeat to France. FIFA’s Technical Study Group overlooked him for the tournament’s Best Young Player award and handed it to Germany’s Lukas Podolski, citing his behavior as a factor in the decision. Following the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo would go on to represent Portugal in four qualifying games for Euro 2008, scoring two goals.
2012–2016 Portugal Won The European Champion
During the qualification for the 2014 World Cup, Ronaldo scored eight goals. A qualifying match on October 17, 2012, a 1–1 draw against Northern Ireland, earned him his 100th cap. His first international hat-trick also came against Northern Ireland, when he scored three times in 15 minutes of a 4–2 qualifying win on September 6, 2013.
After Portugal failed to qualify in the regular season, Ronaldo scored all four goals for the team in the play-offs against Sweden, billed as a battle between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović, which ensured their place in the tournament. His hat trick in the second leg took his international tally to 47 goals, equaling Pauleta’s record.
Ronaldo scored twice in a 5–1 friendly win over Cameroon on March 5, 2014, to become his country’s all-time top scorer.
Ronaldo competed in the tournament despite suffering from patellar tendinitis and a related thigh injury, risking his career. “I would feel more comfortable if we had two or three Cristiano Ronaldo on the team,” Ronaldo later said.
We, however, do not. Despite ongoing doubts about his fitness and having to cancel practice twice, Ronaldo played the entire 90-minute match against Germany. He was, however, unable to prevent a 4-0 defeat. After assisting on an injury-time 2-2 tie against the US, he scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Ghana. With his 50th international goal, he became the first Portuguese player to play and score in three World Cups.
Despite having 20 shots on goal at the beginning of the tournament, Ronaldo could not capitalize on his opportunities in Portugal’s draws with Iceland and Austria. With his 128th international appearance, he surpassed Figo as Portugal’s most capped player, though the game ended scoreless after he missed a penalty in the second half. Ronaldo became the first player to score in four European Championships, having made a record 17 appearances in the tournament, with two goals in the final group stage match and a 3-3 draw against Hungary.
Despite finishing third in their group behind Hungary and Iceland, his team qualified for the knockout round thanks to the competition’s newly expanded format. Ronaldo’s only shot on goal in Portugal’s first knockout match was deflected into the path of Ricardo Quaresma by Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Dubai. His goal secured a 1-0 victory in extra time. Ronaldo became the first player to play in three European Championship semi-finals after Portugal defeated Poland on penalties, with Ronaldo scoring Portugal’s first penalty.
He scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Wales, tying Michel Platini for the competition’s all-time leader with nine goals. In the final against France, Ronaldo was forced off after only 25 minutes due to a challenge from Dimitri Payet. Despite multiple treatments and attempts to play, he has been stretchered off the field and replaced by Quaresma. Portugal won 1-0 in extra time thanks to a goal from substitute Eder in the 109th minute. As team captain, Ronaldo lifted the trophy to commemorate his country’s first major tournament victory. He received the Silver Boot as the joint second-highest goalscorer, with three goals and three assists, and was named to the game team for the third time in his career.
2021–2022 Present: Cristiano Ronaldo, International Top One Goalscorer
In Portugal’s opening Euro 2020 match, a 3-0 victory over Hungary in Budapest on June 15, 2021, Ronaldo scored twice. This brought him to eleven European Championship goals, two more than Michel Platini, the competition’s all-time leading scorer. He was also the first player to score in five European Championships and eleven consecutive tournaments.
Ronaldo’s two goals made him the oldest player to score twice in a European Championship game and the oldest to score for Portugal in a major competition. On June 23, he scored two penalties in Portugal’s 2-2 draw with France in their final group-stage match, equaling Daei’s 109 international goals. Portugal was eliminated on June 27 after a 1-0 loss to Belgium in the round of 16. Ronaldo won the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament with five goals (tied with Czech Patrik Schick) and one assist.
On September 1, Ronaldo scored twice with a header, the second coming seconds before the final whistle, in a 2-1 home win against the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier at the Estádio Algarve, breaking Ali Daei’s international record of 109 goals. On 9 October, he scored the opening goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Qatar at the Estádio Algarve, breaking Sergio Ramos’ record for the most international caps by a European player. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s 5-0 win over Luxembourg on October 12, becoming the first player in men’s international football history to do so.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who has played as a forward for the Portugal national team since his debut in a friendly against Kazakhstan on August 20, 2003. Later that year, on June 12, 2004, he scored his first international goal against Greece in a UEFA Euro 2004 group stage match. He has since become the current record goalscorer for the Portugal national team and the all-time leading men’s international goalscorer, with 117 goals in 191 appearances.