Ballon d’Or: How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Compete With Vinicius, Others With Euro 2024 Performance

Ballon d’Or: How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Compete With Vinicius, Others With Euro 2024 Performance

Babajide Orevba
June 12, 2024 at 11:57 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
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UEFA European Championship logo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal's attack at Euro 2024, and a remarkable performance could see him compete for the Ballon d'Or again
  • The 39-year-old striker netted 50 goals in all competitions for Al-Nassr during the recent season, and the Selecao's Euro hopes rest on him
  • Real Madrid superstars Vinicius Junior, Jude Bellingham, and Toni Kroos are among the leading contenders for football's top award this year

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Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal's attack at Euro 2024, and the striker could return to the Ballon d'Or conversation should he produce an extraordinary performance for the Selecao.

Even though he has been a standout performer for Al-Nassr since leaving Europe for Saudi Arabia, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has failed to make the top three candidates for the prestigious prize in the last few years.

After his Old Trafford meltdown with manager Erik ten Hag, forward Ronaldo left Manchester United, saying his work in Europe is 'done', despite having 'many opportunities' from other clubs.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Euro 2024, CR7, Ballon d'Or, Al-Nassr, Vinicius Junior
Cristiano Ronaldo could battle Vinicius Junior and others for the 2024 Ballon d'Or award if he helps Portugal excel at Euro 2024. Photo credit: Pedro Loureiro.
Source: Getty Images

The former Real Madrid forward has been sensational in the Middle East, but the Saudi Pro League is ranked 27th best in the world, according to GiveMeSport, which could limit Ronaldo's chances of winning the Ballon d'Or.

However, in just two seasons, CR7 has already scored 64 goals in 70 matches in all competitions for Al-Nassr, including 50 in 51 matches in the just concluded 2023/2024 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo's stats for the 2023/2024 season

He is enjoying a remarkable 2024 after finishing the season as the top scorer of the Saudi Professional League with 35 goals in 31 matches.

Ronaldo finished seven goals clear of nearest rival Aleksandar Mitrovic and netted four hat-tricks: against Al Tai, Abha Club, Al Wehda, and Al Fateh.

Defying his age, the striker also scored braces against Al Shabab, Al Ahli, Al Akhdoud and Al Ittihad (twice).

The team captain also scored 15 goals in other domestic and continental competitions, bringing his total to 50 during the campaign.

According to Footy Stats, his performance in the league placed him first out of 391 professional league players who've played at least three matches.

The Portugal captain has called the national team 'the love of his life' and believes it is 'a gift' to still be playing at the highest level aged 39.

Ronaldo ready for Euro 2024

Ronaldo fired a warning to Portugal's opponents by scoring twice in their triumph over the Republic of Ireland to increase his international men's record goal tally to 130.

Portugal are drawn in Group F of Euro 2024 alongside Turkey, Georgia, and the Czech Republic. CR7 has represented the country since 2003 and lifted the European Championship in 2016.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who already holds the honour of the most EURO finals appearances (25) and goals (14), will break new ground in Germany by becoming the first player to feature at six EURO finals tournaments if he gets in the pitch for Portugal.

Ronaldo told UEFA:

"I'm proud to be the first player to play in six EURO tournaments. I'm thrilled about it as it shows the longevity of my career.
"However, it's merely a chapter in what Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved in football. I'm happy and I feel privileged to be here to help the national team achieve its goals and, of course, try to go on and win it, which is our primary goal.

Can Ronaldo compete for 2024 Ballon d'Or?

If Portugal could go all the way to claim the prestigious prize in Germany, Ronaldo could become a contender for the Ballon d'Or, especially if he finishes the tournament as the top scorer.

Many have tipped Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior to win the prestigious prize after winning the UEFA Champions League and La Liga. Jude Bellingham, Toni Kroos, and Kylian Mbappe also look good for the gong.

Ronaldo hints at retirement

Sports Brief also recently reported that Cristiano Ronaldo discussed his retirement plans after scoring a brace against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, June 11.

The Al-Nassr superstar was part of the squad that won 3-0 during their friendly meeting ahead of the Euro 2024 but he admitted to having few years left to play.

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Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.