There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most clutch players of all time. Already at 37, he is capable of delivering when it matters most.
His international record for Portugal is absolutely superb. He ranks as the all-time leading international goalscorer with 118 goals in 192 caps.
He’s had his fair share of clutch moments over the years and we’ve gone through his seven best moments for Portugal.
Even at a young age, Ronaldo knew how to handle extreme pressure.
After Portugal were held to a goalless draw by England in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals, penalties would decide each side’s fate.
Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all missed from the spot, creating the perfect moment for 21-year-old Ronaldo.
The 21-year-old did not crack under the pressure and slotted the winning penalty to send Portugal through.
Portugal went a goal down against the Netherlands after just 11 minutes at Euro 2012.
Ronaldo then decided to take matters into his own hands. He equalized in the 28th minute before coolly slotting in his second goal in the second half.
It was one of the most technically brilliant performances we’ve ever seen from Ronaldo.
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) June 17, 2022
Czech Republic (2012)
Ronaldo’s thunderous header led Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.
The Portugal captain had twice come close to opening the scoring before managing to beat Petr Cech in the 79th minute.
CR7 v Zlatan – it doesn’t get much more box office than this.
Portugal faced Sweden in a two-legged play-off to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the second half to secure a 4-2 aggregate win and guarantee Portugal’s place at the World Cup.
This game will forever be iconic.
It’s been nine years since Ronaldo destroyed Sweden with a ridiculous hat-trick to send Portugal to the 2014 World Cup 😤
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 19, 2022
While Ronaldo had to go off injured in the 2016 Euro final, he played a crucial role in his team getting there.
Fernando Santo’s side were not at their best in the group stage and were in danger of elimination after failing to win either of their first two games.
Hungary took the lead on three occasions against Portugal, but Ronaldo managed to drag the side level. A second-half stalemate saw Portugal grab a 3-3 draw and see them progress to the knockout stages.
The rest is history.
Ronaldo Portugal vs Spain was easily the best match of the 2018 World Cup.
Spain dominated possession with some brilliant tiki-taka passages, but Ronaldo was a man on a mission.
His first World Cup hat-trick was completed with a sublime free-kick from the 88th minute to make it 3-3.
🇵🇹🚀 Still shuddering to remember Cristiano’s last minute genius 😵
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) January 4, 2022
Republic of Ireland (2021)
Portugal’s World Cup qualifier with Ireland was a game to say the least. When Ronaldo entered the game, he was just one goal away from breaking Ali Daei’s international goalscoring record.
However, the first half was a disaster as Ronaldo saw his penalty saved and Ireland took the lead before half-time.
In typical Ronaldo fashion, he shows up when it matters most. He became the all-time leading scorer on the international stage with a late brace to turn things around for Portugal.
LAST TIME Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo faced Ireland.
Ronaldo scored 2 late goals to win the game for Portugal, breaking the record for most international goals in history.pic.twitter.com/87VR0kFKNZ
— The CR7 timeline. (@TimelineCR7) November 11, 2021