Cristiano Ronaldo’s Declining Influence at Euro 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo’s superstar status was evident during Portugal’s recent match against Turkey at Euro 2024. Despite being 39 years old and having participated in major tournaments for two decades, it is clear that his influence on the national team is diminishing. While he garnered attention from fans seeking selfies during the game, his impact on the field seemed lacking in comparison.

Although Ronaldo did manage to assist Bruno Fernandes for Portugal’s third goal against Turkey, setting a record for the most assists in European Championships alongside Karel Poborsky, his struggles in front of the goal have been apparent. It marked his sixth successive major tournament game without scoring, his longest goal drought in World Cups and Euros.

Ronaldo’s longevity in the sport is a testament to his talent, fitness, and dedication. Starting his journey at Euro 2004 alongside Wayne Rooney, who has since retired and transitioned to a managerial role, Ronaldo has continued to break records and win trophies. However, signs of his decline are becoming more evident as his once explosive movements are now more predictable for defenders to counter.

The assist he provided to Fernandes during the match against Turkey showcased Ronaldo’s changing approach to the game. While he unselfishly passed the ball instead of taking a shot himself, it indicated a shift towards recognizing his team’s collective success over individual glory. Portugal’s head coach, Roberto Martinez, praised Ronaldo’s decision, emphasizing the importance of team play.

As Portugal secures their position as Group F winners at Euro 2024, questions arise about Ronaldo’s ability to lead the team against top-tier opponents like Spain, Germany, or France. Martinez’s decision to start Ronaldo was defended based on his experience and goal-scoring capabilities, but it is evident that the team needs to start considering a transition towards younger talents.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s diminishing influence at Euro 2024 highlights the inevitable decline that even the greatest players face in their careers. While his legacy in football is unquestionable, the current reality suggests that Portugal may need to start looking towards the future without relying solely on Ronaldo’s past accomplishments. As the tournament progresses, it will be crucial for the team to adapt to a new era of football where younger stars take on more prominent roles.

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