Lukaku vs Cristiano Ronaldo EURO 2020

Author : esmeraldacalhounnew
Publish Date : 2021-06-27 18:51:33


Lukaku vs Cristiano Ronaldo EURO 2020

Two of Europe's most celebrated forwards go head to head when Belgium take on Portugal in the last 16; our team reporters put them back-to-back.

Ronaldo vs Lukaku: top scorer showdown
Cristiano Ronaldo is the five-goal top scorer at UEFA EURO 2020, while Belgium's Romelu Lukaku has hit three. At 36, Portugal's talisman has scored a European-record 109 international goals; the 28-year-old Lukaku has hit 63 for the Red Devils.

Belgium reporter Alyssa Saliou and Portugal reporter Carlos Machado explain how the two strikers measure up.

Left foot
Lukaku: 10 Ask fans in Serie A how Inter Milan won the 2020/21 title, and many will give the same answer: "Romelu's left foot."

Ronaldo: 8 It may be the Portuguese's so-called weaker foot, but it has still been responsible for 25 international goals!

Watch Lukaku EURO 2016 Belgium double
Right foot
Lukaku: 8 Not as lethal as his left, perhaps, but Lukaku scores plenty with his right too.

Ronaldo: 10 If his left is 9 then there's only one way to go here. Ronaldo's right foot alone would make the top ten among Europe's all-time leading scorers.

Heading
Lukaku: 9 At 1.91m, Lukaku has a few centimetres' advantage on Ronaldo and has certainly never had any problem getting above defenders to score goals.

Ronaldo: 10 'Air Ronaldo' is one of many nicknames. He stands at 1.87m tall, can leap to a height of over 2.5m and his headers are like heat-seeking missiles.

Skills
Lukaku: 8 Lukaku is no show-off; you rarely catch him ball-juggling in training, but when it comes to dribbling past defenders and scoring, he has all the tricks he needs.

Ronaldo: 8 Time and changing roles have dulled the dribbling capacity that made him famous at Manchester United, but Ronaldo is one old dog that loves new tricks.

Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals
Strength
Lukaku: 10 Belgium fans call him 'Big Rom' with good reason.

Ronaldo: 8 That shredded body isn't just for show, as he proved against Germany.


Long-distance shooting
Lukaku: 7 The bulk of Lukaku's goals come from close range, but he has a decent shot on him from any distance.

Ronaldo: 7 He doesn't get a chance to shoot from range too often, but when he does...

Killer instinct
Lukaku: 10 Ronaldo has hit 109 goals in 178 internationals (an average of 0.61 per game). Lukaku's strike rate is better: 63 goals in 96 matches (0.66 per game). Need I say more?

Ronaldo: 9 You don't score over 700 professional goals by being hesitant and faint-hearted.

Ronaldo goals at five EUROs
Free-kicks
Lukaku: 7 He has hit some superb free-kicks in his time, but Belgium have plenty of other options who might feel they can strike them better.

Ronaldo: 8 He has racked up over 50 during his career and perfected the knuckleball technique.

Once again, the prize on offer is a spot in the last eight, and Šilhavý admits that his years alongside Brückner continue to serve him well. "Those experiences from previous tournaments have helped me to resist outside pressure: from the press, fans, from myself. It's very important. Mr Brückner taught me a lot – as a professional, as a human being. I have very fond memories of that era."

His players will also be drawing extra motivation from that memorable encounter. "Like everyone, we were watching TV and cheering," recalls defender Pavel Kadeřábek. "I was with my brother and father. It was a fantastic game which we enjoyed a lot."

"It was a fabulous match," adds captain Vladimír Darida, who as a child idolised Pavel Nedvěd – another of the heroes of that game. "We watched it at home. I remember that not many people believed the comeback was possible, but we scored three marvellous goals. When I got to school the next day, everybody in class was talking about the victory."

Penalties
Lukaku: 6 Lukaku hasn't always been at his best from the penalty spot, but Eden Hazard may step up if the opportunity arises.

Ronaldo: 9 There have been misses – 27 in all – but never when it matters most, such as his double against France: penalties number 138 and 139.

Defending
Lukaku: 7 If called on, Lukaku is no slouch; his body strength can keep opponents in check and his aerial ability can be deployed in defence as well as attack.

Ronaldo: 5 He is not going to feature too much in a high press, but at defensive set pieces that aerial ability comes to the fore.

"At the beginning, the Netherlands went ahead. They were crushing us, then we turned the tables with an equaliser from Milan Baroš. And that was followed by a beautiful goal put into an empty net after an exquisite combination, Karel Poborský passing the ball to Vladimír Šmicer. Pure joy after that."

Once again, the prize on offer is a spot in the last eight, and Šilhavý admits that his years alongside Brückner continue to serve him well. "Those experiences from previous tournaments have helped me to resist outside pressure: from the press, fans, from myself. It's very important. Mr Brückner taught me a lot – as a professional, as a human being. I have very fond memories of that era."

His players will also be drawing extra motivation from that memorable encounter. "Like everyone, we were watching TV and cheering," recalls defender Pavel Kadeřábek. "I was with my brother and father. It was a fantastic game which we enjoyed a lot."

"It was a fabulous match," adds captain Vladimír Darida, who as a child idolised Pavel Nedvěd – another of the heroes of that game. "We watched it at home. I remember that not many people believed the comeback was possible, but we scored three marvellous goals. When I got to school the next day, everybody in class was talking about the victory."

Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Šilhavý
Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Šilhavý
UEFA via Getty Images
Can Czech fans expect another unforgettable night in Budapest on Sunday? Šilhavý knows a lot of time has passed since 2004. "I think our opponents and ourselves are in slightly different situations. Back then, I didn't want to say it outright, but we were favourites. Now we are ranked 40th in the world.

"We're way behind the rest. So, I really appreciate that we're in the knockout phase. The players need to work together to achieve good results. The Netherlands are a strong team. They've also been through a tough period, but it's quite obvious now that they're pretty strong and that this will be a difficult match."

A difficult match, but hopefully one with a similar outcome. Whenever Šilhavý looks back at EURO 2004, he always adds that everything was fantastic – apart from the silence after Traianos Dellas scored during extra time of the semi-finals, his silver goal for Greece ultimately ending the Czechs' run. But even that too could fortify Šilhavý's team, as he and his players now find themselves in the underdog role, plotting a famous triumph to inspire future generations.



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