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Ronaldo: Euros record breaker and record chaser

Cristiano Ronaldo
[BBC Sport]

At the age of 39, Cristiano Ronaldo is back to spearhead Portugal's bid to become European champions again - in what could be the final major tournament of his incredible career.

Ronaldo helped Portugal win Euro 2016 and played a vital part in qualifying for this one as Roberto Martinez's side won all 10 of their matches.

BBC Sport has studied Ronaldo's stellar Euros career and taken a look at the records he holds at European Championships - and those he could well break in Germany over the next four weeks.

Records Ronaldo already holds

Ronaldo first played in the Euros in 2004, aged 19, and can stretch a record he holds simply by getting on the pitch. He is already the only male player to have represented his country at five Euros and, as long as he doesn't get injured, will surely extend that to six this month.

He marked his debut with a goal against Greece in a 2-1 defeat on 12 June 2004 - and the goals keep on coming.

Not including penalty shootouts, he has scored 14 goals at the Euros - two in 2004, one in 2008, three in both 2012 and 2016 before his five in 2021 made him that tournament's joint top scorer.

A double against Hungary in Portugal's opening match three years ago took him past Michel Platini's total of nine for the men's record, although all of those nine came in the same competition as France won the 1984 title.

England's Alan Shearer and France's Antoine Griezmann have seven goals apiece, with eight players on six, including England's Wayne Rooney, France's Thierry Henry and the Netherlands' Ruud van Nistelrooy, while Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Spain's Alvaro Morata will be looking to move on from their half dozen totals in Germany.

Ronaldo also holds the distinction of being the only male to score three or more goals in multiple Euros.

Ronaldo was injured during Portugal's win over France in the 2016 final, with him then acting as if he was joint manager along with coach Fernando Santos, screaming instructions at the players from the sidelines.

But his reliability at the Euros has been outstanding and he has played in all but one of Portugal's matches in each of the past five tournaments - when he was rested for their last group game against Switzerland in 2008 with Portugal already guaranteed to advance.

As a result, Ronaldo's total of 25 appearances is another record, with compatriots Joao Moutinho and Pepe next in line on 19 apiece.

Since 1980, no-one has come close to Ronaldo in having more attempts at goal. Ronaldo's figure of 137 attempts is miles clear of Henry's 52, with fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane and Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp, both on 48.

What records could Ronaldo break at Euro 2024?

But Ronaldo does not hold all the attacking records, yet.

Again since 1980, the record for most chances created is held by a Portuguese great, but not Ronaldo, as Luis Figo sits on top of the charts with 42. Ronaldo is only one behind on 41, with Germany's Mesut Ozil on 40, Karel Poborsky of the Czech Republic on 39 and Zidane on 38.

Former Manchester United winger Poborsky is currently sharing the record with Ronaldo for most assists with six each, although Manchester City and Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne is among those on five and will be looking to bolster that number in Germany.

Even at 39, Ronaldo is not the oldest player in the Portugal squad, with that honour falling to team-mate Pepe.

Providing the 41-year old defender does not score, Ronaldo could become the oldest scorer in the tournament's history and take that record away from Austria's Ivica Vastic (who was 38 years, 257 days when he scored in a 1-1 draw against Poland In 2008).

The oldest scorer in a Euros final could also be up for grabs, with that record currently held by Italy's Leonardo Bonucci, who was 34 when he equalised against England three years ago.

If Portugal, who are in Group F with the Czech Republic, Turkey and Georgia, repeat their success of 2016 then Ronaldo will become only the second player - after Spain's Iker Casillas in 2008 and 2012 - to captain his country to two Euro titles.

Statistically, Portugal, sixth in the world rankings, have the easiest group of all the top seeds as none of their opponents are inside the top 35, with the Czech Republic 36th, Turkey 40th and Georgia, at 75th, the lowest ranked side in the tournament.

Ronaldo is one of only nine men to have scored five or more goals at a single Euros, thanks to his five in 2021, and only Platini (nine in 1984) and France's Antoine Griezmann (six in 2016) have had more prolific campaigns.

In 206 Portugal appearances, Ronaldo, a multiple-time league winner in England with Manchester United, in Spain with Real Madrid and in Italy with Juventus, has scored an incredible 128 international goals and found the net (not including penalty shootouts) against 47 different nations.

He has two goals against the Czech Republic but is yet to register against either Turkey or Georgia, so by the end of the tournament - if Portugal reach the knockout stages - he could well have scored against 50 countries.

What does the future hold for Ronaldo?

In September, Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner who is currently playing for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr, passed the 850-goal mark in his career.

He is regarded as one of the finest physical athletes the game has ever seen, so could he go on even longer for his country?

The World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States takes place in 2026 when he would be 41 - could he build on his total of eight World Cup goals, currently ranked joint 26th on the all-time list?

After that, the next Euros are in the UK and Ireland in 2028. Would that even be possible for Ronaldo? Who knows, but whatever happens his outstanding European records are going to take some beating.