SPORTS

Euro 2020 Golden Boot race heats up as Ronaldo, Lukaku clash in round of 16

By Henry Okoduwa

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku are set to take their Serie A rivalry to the European stage when their countries, Portugal and Belgium meet in the ongoing Euro Championships round of 16 clash billed for the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville on Sunday, June 27

Ronaldo, it was, who prevented Lukaku from making a clean sweep of domestic and individual honours after he romped to the Serie A top scorers award for last season.

The Portuguese superstar, therefore, denied the former Manchester United forward the pleasure of adding the highly coveted goleador’s award to the Scudetto (Italian Serie A title) they had beaten Juventus (Ronaldo’s club) to after a 10-year no show.

The highly rated strikers are therefore going to be the cynosure of all eyes as they step on to the pitch on Sunday to do battle.

The stakes are very high as only one winner will make it to the quarter-final stage after 90 minutes.

Both players have underlined their strike rate pedigree, scoring 8 goals between them since the commencement of the championship on Friday, June 11.

Lukaku, signified his chase for the tournament’s Golden Boot when he scored twice in Belgium’s opening game against Russia June 12.

He would again score against Finland in their last group game to take his tally to 3 goals in his first three outings for his country.

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Ronaldo has no less been prolific as he keeps posting record-breaking performances since he started this competition.

Two goals against Hungary, and another in their 2-4 loss to Germany in their second, took his tally to 3.

The brace he scored to take his country into the knockout stages on Wednesday took his overall haul in three games to 5.

He has already broken the tournament record of 9 goals once held by French legend, Michel Platini, and equalled the all-time international men’s record of 109 goals held by Iran’s Ali Daei.

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Now, the focus will be for Ronaldo not only to help his country win the tournament, if possible, as well as cart home the Golden Boot.

This will be the motivation for both players as they clash for the round of 8’s bragging rights on Sunday

Who will smile at the end of the day?

OTHER ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES

Wales vs Denmark

Italy vs Austria

Netherlands vs Czech Rep

Croatia vs Spain

France vs Switzerland

England vs Germany

Sweden vs Ukraine

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