Cristiano Ronaldo: When Belgian goalkeeper threatened to ‘put him on a stretcher’

Cristiano Ronaldo can become the outright record goalscorer in international football on Sunday evening.Portugal take on Belgium in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

While Ronaldo’s priority will be getting his nation through to the quarter-finals, he wouldn’t complain if he broke Ali Daei’s record in the process.

The Iranian had scored 109 goals for his country – a record Ronaldo equalled with a pair of penalties against France earlier in the week.

Thibaut Courtois in the Belgium goal has a very tough task to prevent Ronaldo from adding to his international tally in Sevilla.

However, the tactics the goalkeeper will employ to stop Ronaldo are likely to be a lot fairer than the tactics one former Belgian shot-stopper intended to use.

Back in 2007, Belgium faced Portugal in Lisbon in a Euro 2008 qualifier.

Belgian’s No.1 at the time was Stijn Stijnen, who wanted to stop 22-year-old Ronaldo by foul means.

Ahead of the match, Stijnen outrageously said: “After two minutes we have to hunt Cristiano Ronaldo so that he cannot continue playing and leaves the field on a stretcher. I do not ask my teammates to break his legs, but we must play with character and enter the shin.”

Cristiano Ronaldo
Stijn Stijnen

Portugal reported the comments to UEFA, who fined Stijnen €4,500 for making “inappropriate statements.”

So, what happened in the match? Did Belgium injure Ronaldo?

Not quite.

Ronaldo, obviously, scored twice during a 4-0 win.

Video: Ronaldo scores twice against Belgium

Luiz Felipe Scolari substituted Ronaldo in the 78th-minute before he could grab the first hat-trick of his career.

Ronaldo was seen chatting to Stijnen after the match before saying: “Stijnen offered his excuses and I have accepted those.

“For me, there is absolutely no problem any more. Such things happen in football – I make no drama out of it. Much more important is that we have won this game.”

Just a reminder that there’s no easy way to take Ronaldo out of the game. He will overcome anything.

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