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2) Cristiano Ronaldo eyes 2 goal records
Portugal’s opening fixture on the country’s long and testing road towards defending their Euros crown, as outlined above, will see them face Hungary.
And, A Selecao’s star man, Cristiano Ronaldo, will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of adding further to his remarkable international goalscoring tally at the expense of the unfavoured Magyars.
Now 36, Cristiano Ronaldo heads into this summer’s tournament with his eyes set on not one, but two all-time goalscoring records.
First, the Juventus standout will be expected to break his tie with Michel Platini as the highest scorer ever at the European Championship finals. As things stand, the two legendary attackers are locked on 9 goals apiece.
This, though, is just the beginning when it comes to the historic feats being eyed by CR7.
Ronaldo, after finding the net in Portugal’s final Euros warmup outing versus Israel, now sits just 5 goals off all-time leading international goalscorer Ali Daei. The Iranian has plundered 109 goals for his country, whilst Portugal’s leading man has managed 104.
Could Ronaldo break yet another pair of records this summer?
3) Hungary’s huge home advantage
Another talking point worth taking note of ahead of the Group of Death getting underway is home advantage.
World champions France, of course, stand as the current favourites to emerge not only from Group F, but also to go on and clinch European glory this summer. However, the worrying Covid-19 trend in their homeland means that Didier Deschamps’s men will not host a single game at the tournament.
Upcoming opponents Germany, on the other hand, will play all of their group games, including tonight versus Les Bleus, at the Allianz Arena. In a meeting of such fine margins, could such an advantage prove key?
Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller and more all play their football on an almost weekly basis at the Allianz, which will no doubt be abuzz with 14,000 fans in attendance on Tuesday.
Whilst they have already been all but counted out by most, meanwhile, Hungary boast even more of an advantage when it comes to fan support. Marco Rossi’s men will line out in two of their group stage games in front of a capacity crowd at the Puskas Arena.
No less than 40,000 are expected to be in attendance tonight versus Portugal, which will be a welcome sight for not only the country’s stars but also viewers across the globe.
4) The Antoine Griezmann vs Toni Kroos feud
One interesting personal battle set to play out during the crunch clash between France and Germany comes in the form of the showdown between Antoine Griezmann and Toni Kroos.
The latter last year hit out at Griezmann on podcast Einfach mal Luppen, calling into question the professionalism of the Barcelona man based on his exuberant goal celebrations:
‘If there are rehearsed dancers or choreographies, I find it very silly. Even worse is if there are any objects hidden in their socks.’
‘Aubameyang once celebrated and took out a mask. That’s where it ends with me. Goal celebrations like those of Griezmann imitating a video game dance are ridiculous.’
‘I don’t think that’s a good role model, either. What nonsense.’
5) Remembering Ferenc Puskas
Our final must-know ahead of Tuesday’s round of Euro 2020 fixtures centers on the late, great Ferenc Puskas.
Hungary’s meeting with Portugal is set to take place at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest, and it would be remiss not to highlight some of the remarkable achievements of one of football’s all-time greats.
The attacker, who spent 8 years plying his trade with Real Madrid, lined out for his country for 11 years, between 1945 and 1956. Remarkably, Puskas racked up 84 goals in his 85 international appearances, good enough for 4th on the all-time list. His ratio of 0.99 goals-per-game also stands as the best of any of the top 35 international goal-getters.
What made Puskas’ decade-long stint with his country truly special, though, was the fact that he managed to clinch silverware. Back in 1953, the ‘Mighty Magyars’ defied the odds to claim victory in the European International Cup of Nations, beating out the likes of Italy and Czechoslovakia. Puskas, of course, finished as the tournament’s top scorer, after finding the net on a hefty 10 occasions.
A true icon, whose name will deservedly come back to the fore later this evening.