Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved almost everything there is to achieve on the international stage with Portugal. However, the striker previously revealed the name of a player for whom he would go back in time to play together.
Ronaldo named the legendary Eusebio as the player who is worth the time traveling. Speaking to Soccer.com back in 2019, the forward revealed, “In my mind, I have a lot of players I wanted to play with. But I will choose one from my country, passed away a few years ago: Eusebio“. He further added that Eusebio is one of the symbols of Portugal, and he wishes he could play with him on the national team.
𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐨 𝐑𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐝𝐨 𝐮𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐠𝐨 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡.
“In my mind I have a lot of players I wanted to play with.
He is one of the symbols of the national team, he was an… pic.twitter.com/BvqZNKCjuR
— TCR. (@TeamCRonaldo) October 3, 2023
Eusebio is not a surprising choice for Ronaldo. One of the greatest exports of Portugal, the former striker had a 23-year-long career from 1957 to 1980. Growing up, Ronaldo must have looked up to him, as Eusebio was a legendary striker of his era. Eusebio scored a jaw-dropping 733 goals in 745 matches in his career for the club and country.
Ronaldo and Eusebio share some connections in the history books. Back in 2014, Ronaldo surpassed Eusebio’s 41 goals to become the second-highest goalscorer for Portugal. Ronaldo later went on to become the all-time leading goalscorer for Portugal.
Ronaldo loves Portugal so much pic.twitter.com/kNKz31iu61
— KALYJAY (@gyaigyimii) October 1, 2023
There is another record by Eusebio that is within the grasp of Cristiano Ronaldo. Eusebio has scored nine goals for Portugal in World Cups, a record for his nation. Ronaldo has scored eight after the latest edition in 2022. It would be big to ask for Ronaldo to play until the next edition in 2026 in North America, but if anyone can maintain his fitness in his 40s, it is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Eusebio for the Portugal national team
Eusebio was considered one of the greatest strikers of all time by many. He scored 41 goals for his national team in 64 matches, for a ratio of 0.64 goals per game, which is the highest by any Portuguese player.
Nicknamed the Black Panther, Eusebio won the 1965 Ballon d’Or. He led Portugal to a third-place finish in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. He won the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot in that edition. Furthermore, he also won the FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball award and was part of the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in the same edition in 1966.
🇵🇹⚪️ During Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid presentation back in 2009, Di Stéfano & Eusébio was also present! ✨
2000+ goals in one photo… ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/fByUGPmULD
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) October 3, 2023
His performances in the 1966 World Cup impressed the English crowd so much that his statue was added to the Madame Tussauds in London. He also won the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for 1966. He was later inducted into Pele‘s FIFA 100 list.
Eusebio’s performance in the 1966 World Cup was the best performance by any Portuguese in any FIFA World Cup. It is a big statement considering the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Black Panther will always be remembered by the Portuguese fans for leading their country to their best-ever finish at the FIFA World Cup.