by Vinay Kshirsagar
While this is not the World Cup, it is still a major international competition, and adds context to the upcoming World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Euro 2004 – Portugal
Portugal reached the final of the tournament in their own country, but were foiled by Greece 2-1 in the final. A championship would have been a great start to Ronaldo’s international cup career. He was placed in the team of the tournament.
Overall stats: 6 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists 
Euro 2008 – Austria/Switzerland
Portugal reached the first knockout stage before losing 1-0 to eventual runners-up Germany. Ronaldo did not have much of an impact on the tournament, with just one goal.
Overall stats: 4 appearances, 1 goal 
Euro 2012 – Poland/Ukraine
Portugal reached the semifinals of the tournament. They lost to current and eventual champions Spain 4-2 on penalties, after a scoreless draw. Ronaldo did not end up taking a penalty kick in the shootout because he was slated to kick 5th. He was placed in the team of the tournament.
Overall stats: 5 appearances, 3 goals 
Euro 2016 – France
Portugal defeated France 1-0 in extra time, on France’s home soil, thanks to a goal from Eder (See our Eder article). Ronaldo was injured after a bad tackle by Demetri Payet in the first half. He tried a couple times to play through the pain but was unable to. From the bench, he acted as a head coach and emotional leader of the Portugal team, hobbling around with tape on his knee and yelling directions at his teammates. You could tell that he so badly wanted to be on that field, leading the team to victory. Even though he wasn’t “on the field” when Portugal won, you can’t say he didn’t pour his heart and soul into the tournament. Ronaldo has a trophy with his national team, and Argentina doesn’t (who cares about the Olympics). If you’re counting.
Overall stats: 6 appearances, 3 goals, 3 assists 
Final game highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R949iZxIy6k
 “Euro History.” UEFA.com. 2016. http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/history/index.html. Accessed April 22, 2018.
 “Ronaldo’s greatest assist: His impact from the touchline.” Brendon Netto. July 12, 2016. http://sport360.com/article/football/european/185630/cristiano-ronaldos-greatest-assist-portuguese-star-played-his-part-in-the-euro-2016-final-as-supporting-cast-took-centre-stage. Accessed April 23, 2018.
How to cite this page:
“Messi vs. Ronaldo – The Final Showdown?” Written by Philemon Kiptoo and Vinay Kshirsagar (2018). World Cup 2018 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, https://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/mens-world-cup-2018-guide/messi-vs-ronaldo/ (accessed on [date]).