Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal's key player for nearly two decades, is far from his peak performance ahead of the Euro 2024 quarterfinal clash with France. At 39 and playing club football in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo's age is becoming evident, likely marking his final major international tournament. Known for his goalscoring abilities, which once placed him in fierce competition with Lionel Messi for the title of the world's best player, Ronaldo has yet to score in Germany and has contributed little to Portugal's attack.

Coach Roberto Martinez has consistently started Ronaldo in all four of Portugal's matches, during which Ronaldo assisted Bruno Fernandes but did little else. His missed penalty against Slovenia nearly jeopardized Portugal's advancement to the quarterfinals, though he later scored the first spot-kick in the shootout, leading to Portugal's victory. Martinez praised Ronaldo's leadership and resilience, stating, "Cristiano is our captain and he showed that in life and in football there are difficult moments and we can't give up."

Despite Ronaldo's emotional display, including tears after failing to score in extra-time and joy upon scoring in the shootout, it is evident that he is no longer the player he once was. Ronaldo acknowledged the highs and lows of football, saying, "First it was sadness and then it was joy, that's what football gives you." Portugal will need a significantly improved performance to overcome France's formidable defense, which has yet to concede a goal in open play in Germany.

With 14 European Championship goals, the most of any player, and a record number of appearances, Ronaldo's legacy is secure. However, his record-making days may end if he fails to connect with his teammates, potentially leading to a disappointing farewell in the Euros.