Cristiano Ronaldo's pending account with England, Italy, Germany and France
The Portugal captain has bagged 102 international goals but has yet to find the net against England, Italy, Germany and France in 14 attempts.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s international career is the very definition of glittering. The Portugal captain led his country to their first major tournament victory at the 2016 European Championship and has the inaugural Nations League title to his name as well as a World Cup semi-final and a runners-up medal from Euro 2004. The Juventus forward has also bagged 102 international goals in 168 appearances, placing him second on the all-time list behind Ali Daei, whose record of 109 for Iran is not likely to last too much longer with Ronaldo’s scoring rate for Portugal only increasing with age.
However, there is a blank column on Ronaldo’s own record and it concerns some of Europe’s traditional heavyweight nations: England, Italy, France and Germany.
In 14 games against those teams, Ronaldo has failed to find the net. The same goes for Brazil but given the regularity with which UEFA teams meet it remains on Ronaldo’s to-do list to get off the mark against four of the five European sides to have lifted the World Cup.
Ronaldo makes a point from the spot
Since his debut in 2003, Ronaldo has faced France on six occasions and Les Bleus have managed to shut the prolific Portuguese out entirely, most recently as Didier Deschamps’ side knocked the reigning champions out of this season Nations League. On the biggest stage, at the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo was eclipsed by Zinedine Zidane in the semi-finals. In five subsequent games the Portuguese was denied a goal with Éder supplying the winner in the final of Euro 2016 with the injured captain memorably offering tactical advice from the sidelines.
Ronaldo’s first game against England was in 2004 and he would again draw a blank in a rematch at the Euros later that year, although he did score from the spot in the successful shoot-out. Two years later, in the famous “Rooney wink” quarter-final at the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo would bury the decisive penalty to see Portugal through to that meeting with France and Zidane.
Gianluigi Buffon proved immovable in the two friendlies Portugal and Italy have played with Ronaldo on the pitch in 2004 and 2008 and Germany have also kept the goal machine at bay in three meetings between the nations.