5 Euro 2024 Stars Who Were Born After Cristiano Ronaldo Made His Portugal Debut

5 Euro 2024 Stars Who Were Born After Cristiano Ronaldo Made His Portugal Debut

Martin Moses
updated at June 12, 2024 at 1:08 PM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Warren Zaire Emery logo
W.Zaire Emery
Paris Saint Germain U19 logoMFrance logo
Kobbie Mainoo logo
Manchester United logoMEngland logo
Lamine Yamal logo
FC Barcelona logoFSpain logo
UEFA European Championship logo
Adam James Wharton logo
Crystal Palace logoMEngland logo
Arda Güler logo
Real Madrid logoMTurkey logo
Joao Pedro Goncalves Neves logo
Benfica logoMPortugal logo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo will once again be the star attraction of another major tournament when he captains Portugal at Euro 2024
  • Ronaldo will share the platform with a number of fast-rising players who were born after he made his debut for the Selecao in 2003
  • Sports Brief takes a look at the young players expected to cause massive headwinds when the tournament kicks off on June 14

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Cristiano Ronaldo's longevity needs to be studied when he eventually chooses to retire. He has led a highly successful career at the top level for over 20 years.

The forward will play in his sixth Euro tournament on June 18, 21 years after making his debut for his country.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Lamine Yamal, Warren Zaire-Emery, Kobbie Mainoo, Arda Guler, Adam Wharton, Joao Neves, Euro 2024
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal against Ireland in a Euro 2024 warm-up game on June 11, 2024. Photo by Pedro Loureiro.
Source: Getty Images

It is a career that has seen him transition from a left winger to a centre forward, taking him to four countries, winning him five Ballon d'Or titles, the Euro 2016 title, and five UEFA Champions League titles, among many other achievements.

Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal on August 20, 2003, as a substitute against Kazakhstan, as captured by Transfermarkt. He then represented the Selecao at Euro 2004, where he scored his first international goal in a 2-1 loss to Greece.

Euro 2024 players who were born after Ronaldo's debut

Now, 20 years is such a long time and this year, Ronaldo will be sharing the stage with a couple of exceptional, promising players who - get this - were not yet born when he made his debut for Portugal.

Sports Brief samples the best five.

5. Adam Wharton - England: born February 6, 2004

It took Adam Wharton only 16 appearances after signing for Crystal Palace in January to convince Gareth Southgate that he was worth having on the trip to Germany.

The 20-year-old provided some assuring performances for the Three Lions in his debut against Bosnia last month and might well partner Declan Rice in the middle of the pack at Euro 2024.

4. Arda Guler - Turkey: born February 25, 2005

The 'Turkish Messi' has had a bittersweet past year. He first made a move to the prestigious Real Madrid, but niggling injury concerns prevented him from playing as much as he wanted.

He showed his class in the few games he played for Carlo Ancelotti and, in the end, was part of the Champions League-winning team. He will be keen on putting on a show in Germany to convince his manager of more minutes next season.

3. Warren Zaïre-Emery - France: born March 8, 2006

Kylian Mbappe might have hogged all the headlines at Paris Saint-Germain, as he would for France in Germany, but Warren Zaïre-Emery was one player who often put in consistent performances for the Parisians.

To make the final shortlist for a major tournament in a country as star-studded as France speaks volumes about what the 18-year-old can do. He has already been capped three times.

2. Kobbie Mainoo - England: born April 19, 2005

England fans will be hoping to see more of the vigorous head-shaking of their new jewel whenever he scores at Euro 2024.

Last season was supposed to be Mainoo's right from preseason, and not even a damaging knee injury could derail him. He returned in November and became a mainstay for Erik ten Hag. His highlight of the season was scoring in the FA Cup final win over Manchester City.

1. Lamine Yamal - Spain: born July 13, 2007

The youngest player at Euro 2024 - not to put the sparkling Barcelona talent under pressure, but you would be lying if you said you didn't see any traits of Lionel Messi in him.

So ridiculous is his talent that Yamal is almost a guaranteed starter for Luis de la Fuente when La Roja play in the 'Group of Death' in Germany.

Other mentions

Other players born after Ronaldo first played for Portugal include his teammates, Joao Neves and Antonio Silva, as well as German midfielder Aleksandar Pavlovic, Turkey's Kenan Yildiz, and Hungary's Milos Kerkez.

When will Cristiano Ronaldo retire?

Sports Brief also reported that Cristiano Ronaldo hinted at his retirement, being alive to the fact that he doesn't have many years left in football despite still starring for his country.

The Selecao's 3-0 win over Ireland was Portugal's last warm-up game before heading to the Euros in Germany where they will play Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Georgia in Group F.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)