UEFA Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo chases BIG record, Portugal-Spain fear first-round exit

After enduring a tough 4-2 defeat against Germany, defending champions Portugal are on the brink of a first-round exit from the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020. Meanwhile, Spain, who were pooled in a relatively easier Group E consisting Sweden, Slovakia, and Poland, can also face the same fate. 

For the Germans, who bounced back in the competition after opening the campaign with a 1-0 defeat against world champions France, the road looks tough but the commanding win in their previous encounter against the defending champions will definitely aid in lifting their spirits.  

All the three teams will play their respective matches on Wednesday night as per Indian Standard Timings, with Slovakia taking on Spain at 09:30 pm kick-off and the ‘Group of Death’ clashes between Portugal vs France and Germany vs Hungary taking place at 00:30 hours respectively. 

Current equation in Group of Death 

A draw is enough for Germany to see them through to next round. But it would be interesting to see if Joachim Loew decides to field Thomas Mueller, who going by reports is not 100 percent fit.

Meanwhile, the clash between both the sides have been overshadowed by off-field topic after UEFA asked Munich to not light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours, citing political reasons. This in turn saw a major uproar online and as per a report in news agency AFP, the German city even wanted to stage protest against the law passed by Hungary’s right-wing government, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors.  

Meanwhile, it will be a testing moment for Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, who at no cost can lose their tie against France, which will thus lead to their elimination. 

France, who played a 1-1 draw against Hungary in their previous encounter, have already qualified for the next round but will fancy to finish the group stages with a win.

Ronaldo chases big record 

Marvellous Ronaldo, who is making his fifth Euro apperance, is the tournament’s leading scorer, a record which he notched after scoring a brace in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary earlier in the campaign. The Portugal captain then surpassed France legend Michel Platini and now has 12 goals in the continental championship.  

The 36-year-old needs two more goals to equal the all-time international scoring record of Iran’s Ali Daei, who has netted the ball 109 times in international fixture. 

Lacklustre Spain seek revival 

Spain Euro 2020

Spain have endured a difficult campaign so far and have just managed to etch out draws from both their encounters against Sweden and Poland.

While a win against Slovakia will ensure them a round-of-16 spot, a draw will leave them in a tricky situation. The team can also advance to the next round as a best third-placed team, but if Poland overhaul the already qualified Sweden then it will see them make the knockout cut. Going by Robert Lewandowski’s form, Poland do possess the quality to tumble any opponent in the competition.    

Luis Henrique’s side went into the campaign without veteran campaigner Sergio Ramos, a void which might as well be the reason behind their exit from the tournament.  

Meanwhile, Slovakia will advance to the next round if they return with a point.  

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Sagar Biswas

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