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Cristiano Ronaldo, the ageless goal-scoring prodigy disproves all detractors.

At 39 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to score goals and play for Portugal's national soccer team. Despite doubts about his ability to perform at a high level in a top-tier international tournament like the European Championship, he's proving the doubters wrong with his on-field...

"It's love, it's passion": At 39, Cristiano Ronaldo is just as ambitious as ever
"It's love, it's passion": At 39, Cristiano Ronaldo is just as ambitious as ever

FIFA World Cup 2024 - Cristiano Ronaldo, the ageless goal-scoring prodigy disproves all detractors.

Nearly like he never left, Cristiano Ronaldo, aged 39, has been playing for the Al-Nassr FC in the Saudi Professional League for the last year and a half. The league may not be of the highest standard, but it still entices other ageing stars like Neymar and Sadio Mané with lucrative deals.

Set to make his final appearance on the grand soccer stage beforehand, at the European Championship with Portugal's national team, the question arises: will the legendary goal scorer Methuselah show up? The answer is a resounding yes, and what a show he put on! In Portugal's last test match against Ireland, he put on an impressive performance and shut down all doubters. Portugal won 3-0 in Alveiro. Ronaldo scored two goals. It felt like his glory days when Ronaldo and Lionel Messi led world football.

Ronaldo: Passion Rules

In the first half, he sent a typical free kick crashing against the post. After the break, he joined a team with many other elite players such as Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes. He scored his first goal in the 50th minute with a breathtaking overhead kick, his second goal ten minutes later following an assist from Silva. He even missed the goalpost by an inch. He flaunted his well-known goal celebration and took the game seriously. It's clear that someone determined to show he's still relevant after 1.5 years in Saudi Arabia has stepped up. Earlier in a Uefa interview, Ronaldo had said, "Playing for the national team is a passion, it's a love."

Portugal's national coach, Roberto Martinez, now knows that he can't do without the superstar. Portuguese media hailed Ronaldo's best performance since Martinez took over the team in 2023. "It seemed like he (Ronaldo) still has a lot to say at his last EM," wrote Spain's popular sports newspaper "Marca".

Scoring Spree

Examining Ronaldo's goal history, there's been no dip. In 45 games for Al-Nassr, he found the net 44 times. In the EM qualification, he was the top scorer for the Seleção with ten goals. Against Ireland in his 207th international match, he scored the 129th and 130th international goals. Now he has the chance to break his own EM record of 14 goals. Ronaldo has participated in his sixth European Championship.

There's a strong possibility he will break the record. Because Ronaldo has a seasoned squad supporting him. The qualification for the EM was flawless with ten victories in ten games (against not-so-formidable opponents). Recently, the Portuguese lost narrowly to Croatia 1:2, but Ronaldo was absent. Against Ireland, the team displayed itself as a finely-tuned machine, playing variably and with pressure. Portugal and Ronaldo are geared up for the EM.

Read also:

  1. Several ageing stars, including Neymar and Sadio Mané, are drawn to lucrative deals in leagues outside Europe's top tier, such as the Saudi Professional League where Cristiano Ronaldo currently plays for Al-Nassr FC.
  2. Portugal's national team, with Ronaldo leading the charge, put on an impressive display against Ireland during a test match, securing a 3-0 victory with Ronaldo scoring two goals.
  3. Germany and Ireland will also be participating in the upcoming European Championship, joining a host of other European nations in the competitive tournament.
  4. Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes, two elite Portuguese players, joined forces with Ronaldo during the match against Ireland, providing assists and support to complement his outstanding performance.
  5. The European Championship is a stage that several prominent players, such as Sadio Mané and Neymar, will be showcasing their skills, alongside Ronaldo, as they fight for glory on the continent's biggest stage.
  6. Portugal's final preparation for the upcoming European Championship included a qualifying match against Croatia, which they narrowly lost without the presence of Ronaldo, but will now face with him leading the team, aiming to defend their title and break records in the process.