The biggest void on Cristiano Ronaldo’s resume reminds us soccer’s the ultimate team game.
Ronaldo has achieved more than all but few soccer players in history, but victory at a major international tournament has eluded him thus far. Ronaldo told Spanish newspaper Marca on Wednesday he’ll be vying for glory once again next summer at the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France.
“At club level and on a personal level I’ve already won everything,” Ronaldo said, according to FIFA.com “But I haven’t won a title with the national team.”
Ronaldo debuted for Portugal’s senior national team in August 2003 at age 18. He has played 123 games for his country, scoring a Portuguese record 55 goals.
But Ronaldo, 30, has known agony aplenty in the six major international tournaments in which he has competed. The closest he came to winning one was at Euro 2004 when Portugal reached the final but lost to Greece on home soil. Portugal later reached the semifinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012.
Ronaldo hopes to go two better in his next opportunity as captain of a rejuvenated Portugal.
“It would be the pinnacle of a great career (winning Euro 2016), and this is what I’m hoping for. My hope is that 2016 will be the year. We have a good coach and an excellent president and the new generation of younger players coming through has helped us move along.”
Euro 2016 won’t be Ronaldo’s last chance to taste international success. The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar hopes to buck the trend of players whose performances decline after age 30. He intends to play for another decade and spend much of that at a high level.
“I’m 30 now but I want to play another five or six years more. In fact If we look after ourselves it’s possible to play up to 40 and that’s what I’d like to do. I feel good here (at Real Madrid), I feel useful here and I want that to carry on.”
Who’s willing to bet against Ronaldo winning, or trying to do so, until 2025? Anyone?
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@GoalUK