Ronaldo records, Delta variant and Pepe the diviner

  • Euro star: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo clenched his fist after his brace against France (2-2 draw), which enabled Portugal to secure their qualification for the knockout stages of Euro on Wednesday 23 June, at the Ferenc-Puskas stadium, in Budapest (Hungary).

The five-time Golden Ball Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer to present, but he still stands out, at 36, as one of the references of world football, never satisfied when it comes to individual records. Double scorer against France on Wednesday 23 June (2-2) in the last match of Group F, the Seleçao captain took the opportunity to equal, with 109 goals, the record for the most goals scored in the selection, which was owned by Ali Daei. The Iranian can always boast of having managed to reach this number in 149 games, against 178 for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Read also Euro 2021: Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, a story of goals and friendship

One record can hide another. Thus, during Portugal’s first match at the Euro, CR7’s double against Hungary (3-0 victory) allowed him to become the top scorer in the history of the competition, thus exceeding Michel’s nine points. Platini, registered in full during the 1984 edition. The current Juventus striker is now fourteen achievements in five participations at the Euro (another record), including five during the 2021 edition.

Will he ever beat the record for the number of goals scored in a single edition? This will first involve a qualification of Portugal against Belgium on Sunday 27 June. Unless you register a quadruplet against the Red Devils. With Cristiano, you should never say impossible to the impossible.

Read also: Euro 2021: Cristiano Ronaldo, charismatic captain but not without flaws

Belgium – Portugal, Sunday June 27, at 9 p.m., on M6 and BeIN Sports (and live on

Euro 2021: posters for the round of 16

After two weeks of competition, the group stage of Euro 2021 has delivered its verdict. Here is the program for the round of 16, which will take place from Saturday June 26 to Tuesday June 29.

Saturday June 26

Wales – Denmark at 6 p.m. at Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam

Italy – Austria at 9 p.m. at Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday June 27

Netherlands v Czech Republic at 6 p.m. at Ferenc-Puskas stadium in Budapest

Belgium – Portugal at 9 p.m. at La Cartuja, Seville

Monday June 28

Croatia v Spain at 6 p.m. at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen

France – Switzerland at 9 p.m. at the National Stadium in Bucharest

Tuesday June 29

England v Germany at 6 p.m. at Wembley Stadium, London

Sweden – Ukraine at 9 p.m. at Hampden Park, Glasgow

All the matches will be followed live on

  • Meanwhile, UEFA is burying the away goal rule

This is the end of a rule that has punctuated European club nights since 1965. Thursday 24 June, UEFA announced the elimination, from this summer, of the advantage linked to the greatest number of goals scored at outside. This rule known as the “goal that counts twice” was used to decide between the tied teams in the round-trip confrontations. It allowed, for example, Paris-Saint-Germain to eliminate Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the 2020-2021 Champions League (3-2 victory for PSG in Munich, 1-0 defeat at the Parc des Princes ).

To justify this small revolution in European football, the president of the body, Aleksander Ceferin, explains that the advantage of the goal scored on the outside had ended up “Go against its initial objective, since it now dissuades home teams from attacking, especially in the first leg, because they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage”. Without the away goal rule, the spring evenings of the Champions League promise to extend into extra time.

  • In the skylight: Pepe, the diviner

By converting his penalty against Portugal on Wednesday night, Karim Benzema ended a five-and-a-half-year scoring scarcity for France. On the lawn of Budapest, a man had read before everyone else where the tricolor striker was going to shoot: Pepe. The Portuguese defender is familiar with Benzema’s habits, having played eight years together at Real Madrid (from 2009 to 2017). Convinced that his former teammate was going to cross his shot on the left, Pepe made big gestures in that direction in order to steer Rui Patricio. In vain: the Lusitanian goalkeeper dived on the other side… taken on the wrong foot by Benzema. As a bonus, the doorman was passed a soap by Pepe for not having listened to him.

Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in the group stage of the Copa América, which took place on the night of Wednesday to Thursday at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. However, the most “Brazilian” goal of the meeting is to be put to the credit of the Colombian team. At the 10e minute, finding himself receiving a cross at the far post brushed by Juan Cuadrado, Colombian winger Luis Diaz, 24, triggered an acrobatic chisel come to lodge at the bottom of the nets. Not bad, but when it comes to spectacular goals, it’s still a cut below inspiration from Czech Patrik Schick during Euro 2021.

  • A corner of blue sky: On the left, it’s the big blur

Léo Dubois (on the left): a solution for Deschamps in the event of Lucas Hernandez's withdrawal?

At this rate, Didier Deschamps will ask Bixente Lizarazu to drop his consultant shirt for TF1 and put on shorts. Three days before the round of 16 against Switzerland in Bucharest, the coach still does not know who will be his left-back. Against Portugal, the Blues saw their two specialists in this position, Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Digne, leave the lawn, injured.

“The most worrying is Lucas Digne, because it’s a muscle injury. Him, it will be very complicated ”, recognized Didier Deschamps. For the other Lucas, that of Bayern Munich, the coach pleads the simple precaution, because of a yellow card received in the first half and a recurring pain in the knee.

But in the event of a (possible) forfeit of the world champion, it will be necessary to show imagination. Presnel Kimpembe started well as left-back at PSG and Adrien Rabiot made an interesting comeback at this unknown position for him. Otherwise, we heard influential colleagues evoke the track of Léo Dubois. Because, yes, the Lyonnais is well in the France group. Become number three on the right, the former Nantes can he win this other primary from the left? We doubt it a little, but Didier Deschamps sometimes knows how to surprise us.

  • Pole catch: Wales against the rest of the world

“I think 99% of the planet will support Denmark”

Miraculously qualified for the knockout stages of the Euro even though they had not collected a single point in their first two matches in the group stage, Denmark will face Wales in the round of 16 this Saturday 26 June in Amsterdam. Christian Eriksen, who left hospital in Copenhagen, is expected to watch this game with interest. His cardiac arrest in the middle of a match against Finland, which occurred almost two weeks ago, is still in everyone’s mind, with his Danish teammates and supporters.

As such, Welsh defender Connor Roberts expects the public at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam to be “fully” behind the Scandinavian selection this Saturday. “It’s a very good team, and they will have a lot of support. I think 99% of the world will support Denmark ”, did he declare in comments reported by the BBC website. Even more, since there are only 3.1 million Welsh for 7.8 billion human beings on Earth.

  • Covidometer: the Delta variant

On June 17, 23,395 spectators attended the Denmark-Belgium match at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

Three supporters present at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen were infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus on the sidelines of the Denmark – Belgium meeting, played on Thursday, June 17. The Danish health authorities invite the approximately 4,000 people placed in the same platform to be tested. Denmark announced Tuesday, June 22 the detection of 29 cases directly linked to the Euro meetings which take place in Copenhagen.

The German leader of the World Medical Association, Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery, for his part, is indignant at the opening of the English borders for the Euro, judging the measure as “Populism”. He strongly advises against travel because of the risk of contamination with the Delta variant of Covid-19. Wembley Stadium is to host the semi-finals and the final of the competition, with a target of 60,000 spectators.

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