EURO 2024 QUALIFIERS
Portugal record biggest win in their history against Luxembourg without Cristiano Ronaldo
The former Real Madrid star didn’t play in the Euro 2024 qualifier due to suspension, but wasn’t missed as Gonçalo Ramos scored twice.
Portugal dismantled Luxembourg in Lisbon on Monday, with their 9-0 victory in their Euro 2024 qualifier the biggest win they have ever recorded in their history. And the feat was made all the more eye-catching by the fact they achieved it without the services of all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Why did Ronaldo not play in Portugal’s record win over Luxembourg?
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United superstar was forced to sit out the historic triumph having incurred a one-match suspension as a result of the yellow card picked up in Friday’s victory over Slovakia, his third in five matches. In truth, Ronaldo could quite easily have seen red instead having careered into opposing goalkeeper Martin Dubravka studs first with both feet.
As a result of his misdemeanours, the 38-year-old missed out on the chance to face a team he had already netted twice against in a 6-0 Portugal win back in March. Gonçalo Ramos replaced Ronaldo in attack and Roberto Martínez’s side went three goals better, with the Paris Saint-Germain striker, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota and Sporting Lisbon defender Gonçalo Inácio all bagging doubles.
What was Portugal’s previous biggest win?
Portugal had previously won 8-0 on three occasions, twice against Liechtenstein (1994 and 1999) and once versus Kuwait in 2003, which Ronaldo didn’t feature in either despite making his full international debut a few months earlier.
Ronaldo’s international appearances and goals records
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has played more international games (201) and scored more goals for his country (123) than any male player in history and has scored five goals in five appearance for the Portuguese national team since the 2022 World Cup, when he was surprisingly dropped from the starting line-up in the knockout stages by former head coach Fernando Santos.
Portugal on the brink of Euro 2024 qualification
Portugal are well on course to qualify for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany next summer having won all six of their opening qualifiers, scoring 24 times without reply. Another victory at home to Slovakia on 13 October could be enough to seal qualification depending on other results, although they will definitely finish in the top two in Group J if they also win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina three days later.