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Five of the Best | Cristiano Ronaldo European Championship goals

In our latest entry in our ‘Five of the Best’ series, we revisit five of the best goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo at the European Championship.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has officially scored more goals than any other player in European Championship history.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored twice in Portugal's 3-0 win over Hungary at Euro 2020 to take his overall European Championship tally to 11 goals.

Ronaldo's late brace in Portugal's Group F win sees him overtake Michel Platini's previous record of nine goals.

The 36-year-old has also become the first player to appear at five European Championships.

After scoring his first Euros goals in 2004, Ronaldo has scored at every subsequent Euros since then.

Here are five of his best.

#1: vs Greece (2004 Group Stage)

Ronaldo's first European Championship goal was also his first Portugal goal.

Then a young midfielder at Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo made his tournament debut in Portugal's 2-1 home defeat to Greece at Estádio do Dragão in Portugal.

Greece, who would go on to stun the world by winning Euro 2004, took the lead after just six minutes through a Georgios Karagounis strike from 25 yards.

The underdogs then doubled their lead early in the second half when Angelos Basinas scored a penalty, which was conceded by Ronaldo.

Ronaldo netted his first Portugal goal, which turned out to be a mere consolation, in second half stoppage time.

The young midfielder rose highest in the box to power a header into the net from Luis Figo's in-swinging corner.

It was a goal which would eventually become a Ronaldo trademark, and proved to be the first of five headers scored by Ronaldo (thus far) at the Euros.

Ronaldo would go on to score another header in Portugal's semi-final victory over the Netherlands.

However, the host nation would lose 1-0 to Greece in the final.

#2: vs Czech Republic (2008 Group Stage)

Ronaldo's only Euro 2008 goal came against Czech Republic in Portugal's final group stage match in Geneva, Switzerland.

Portugal, who needed to win to guarantee a place in the knockout stages, took the lead through Deco in the eighth minute, before

Libor Sionko headed in from a corner to draw Czech Republic level after 17 minutes.

Ronaldo restored Portugal's lead in the 63rd minute with an excellent first-time strike from the edge of the box.Deco cut in from the right and played a low pass across the 18-yard box, which Ronaldo met on the run with a clinical low shot into the bottom corner.

After giving his side the lead, Ronaldo then provided an assist for Ricardo Quaresma for Portugal's third goal, sealing their place in the knockout stages.

Spain would go on to win the 2008 Euros, with Fernando Torres scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Germany in the final.

2008 was the year Ronaldo would win his first of five Ballon d'Ors to date.

#3: vs Netherlands (2012 Group Stage)

Ronaldo scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Portugal's final group game in Ukraine at Euro 2012.

Rafael van der Vaart gave the Dutch - who needed to win by two clear goals to progress to the knockout stages at Portugal's expense - the lead with an excellent strike in the 11th minute in Kharviv.

Portugal's talisman Ronaldo drew his country level in the 28th minute, making a clever run in behind the Netherlands defence to collect Joao Pereira's excellent through ball, before slotting a cool finish past Maarten Stekelenburg to make it 1-1.

Ronaldo then gave Portugal the lead with a scintillating goal in the 74th minute.

The then Real Madrid attacker laid the ball off to João Moutinho before continuing his run down the left flank. Moutinho played the ball out to Nani wide on the right, and Ronaldo's former Manchester United teammate delivered a cross to the far post.

Ronaldo feigned a shot, instead trapping the ball with his left foot, fooling Netherlands full back Gregory van der Wiel into an unsuccessful diving block.

The Portuguese forward then took another touch before calmly firing the ball into the near corner past a helpless Stekelenburg.

It was Ronaldo at his calm and clinical best, and a goal which put Portugal's place in the knockout stages beyond doubt.

Portugal finished runners up to Germany in Group B, and Ronaldo then scored the winner for Portugal with an excellent header (which is unlucky not to make this list) against Czech Republic in a 1-0 win in the quarter-final.

Spain went on to beat Portugal on penalties after a scoreless draw in the semi-final, before successfully defending their Euros title with a 4-0 win over Italy in the final.

#4: vs Hungary (Euro 2016 Group Stages)

Quite possibly Ronaldo's best ever goal at the Euros.

The last two goals on this list were both scored at Euro 2016.

First up is Ronaldo's stunning flick against Hungary in a thrilling 3-3 Group F draw in Lyon.

Zoltan Gera's half-volley gave Hungary the lead in France after 19 minutes, with Ronaldo subsequently setting up Nani for Portugal's equaliser. Balazs Dzsudzsak restored Hungary's lead with a deflected strike, before Ronaldo produced a moment of magic to make it 2-2 in the 50th minute.

Nani laid the ball out wide to Joao Mario, who swept a low cross into the box. Ronaldo got in front of Hungary defender Adam Lang and produced a sublime first time flick into the far bottom corner from eight yards.

Dzsudzsak's second goal gave Hungary a 3-2 lead before Ronaldo drew Fernando Santos's side level again with a precise glancing header from Ricardo Quaresma's cross following a Portuguese corner.

Hungary still progressed as Group F winners, with Portugal advancing to the knockout stages despite finishing third in the group behind Iceland.

Portugal drew Croatia in the last 16, with Quaresma netting the only goal of the game to give Portugal a 1-0 win after extra time, with Ronaldo's team then beating Poland on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals in France.

Ronaldo was among those to score his penalty in the shootout, and victory for Portugal set up a semi-final meeting with Wales...

#5: Vs Wales (Euro 2016 Last 16)

Portugal met Euro 2016 surprise package Wales in the semi-finals in Lyon.

In this game, Ronaldo bexame the first player to play in three Euro semi-finals

After a scoreless first half in the French city, Ronaldo scored his ninth European Championship goal (drawing him level with Platini) with an unstoppable header in the 50th minute.

Portugal took a quick corner, which Raphael Guerreiro swining a left-footed cross into the middle of the box.

Ronaldo rose majestically and steered a powerful header into the top of the net.

Three minutes later, Nani doubled Portugal's lead to send them into the final.

Ronaldo was forced off injured early in the final, but helped to inspire his teammates to a dramatic 1-0 win over hosts France, with Eder bagging the only goal of the game with a strike from distance.

You can watch all of Ronaldo's European Championship goals below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSYsy258EKw

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