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Lukaku vs Cristiano Ronaldo: How do they compare?

Two of Europe's most celebrated forwards go head to head when Belgium take on Portugal in the last 16; our team reporters put them back-to-back.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku meet in the last 16 as Portugal and Belgium vie for a quarter-final berth.
Ronaldo vs Lukaku: top scorer showdown

Cristiano Ronaldo is the five-goal top scorer at UEFA EURO 2020, while Belgium's Romelu Lukaku has hit three. At 36, Portugal's talisman has scored a European-record 109 international goals; the 28-year-old Lukaku has hit 63 for the Red Devils.

EURO2020.com's Belgium reporter Alyssa Saliou and Portugal reporter Carlos Machado explain how the two strikers measure up.

Live build-up: Belgium vs Portugal


Left foot

Lukaku: 10 Ask fans in Serie A how Inter Milan won the 2020/21 title, and many will give the same answer: "Romelu's left foot."

Ronaldo: 8 It may be the Portuguese's so-called weaker foot, but it has still been responsible for 25 international goals!

Watch Lukaku EURO 2016 Belgium double
Watch Lukaku EURO 2016 Belgium double

Right foot

Lukaku: 8 Not as lethal as his left, perhaps, but Lukaku scores plenty with his right too.

Ronaldo: 10 If his left is 9 then there's only one way to go here. Ronaldo's right foot alone would make the top ten among Europe's all-time leading scorers.

Heading

Lukaku: 9 At 1.91m, Lukaku has a few centimetres' advantage on Ronaldo and has certainly never had any problem getting above defenders to score goals.

Ronaldo: 10 'Air Ronaldo' is one of many nicknames. He stands at 1.87m tall, can leap to a height of over 2.5m and his headers are like heat-seeking missiles.

Skills

Lukaku: 8 Lukaku is no show-off; you rarely catch him ball-juggling in training, but when it comes to dribbling past defenders and scoring, he has all the tricks he needs.

Ronaldo: 8 Time and changing roles have dulled the dribbling capacity that made him famous at Manchester United, but Ronaldo is one old dog that loves new tricks.

Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals
Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals

Strength

Lukaku: 10 Belgium fans call him 'Big Rom' with good reason.

Ronaldo: 8 That shredded body isn't just for show, as he proved against Germany.

Nuno Gomes: Beware of Lukaku!


Long-distance shooting

Lukaku: 7 The bulk of Lukaku's goals come from close range, but he has a decent shot on him from any distance.

Ronaldo: 7 He doesn't get a chance to shoot from range too often, but when he does...

Killer instinct

Lukaku: 10 Ronaldo has hit 109 goals in 178 internationals (an average of 0.61 per game). Lukaku's strike rate is better: 63 goals in 96 matches (0.66 per game). Need I say more?

Ronaldo: 9 You don't score over 700 professional goals by being hesitant and faint-hearted.

Ronaldo goals at five EUROs
Ronaldo goals at five EUROs

Free-kicks

Lukaku: 7 He has hit some superb free-kicks in his time, but Belgium have plenty of other options who might feel they can strike them better.

Ronaldo: 8 He has racked up over 50 during his career and perfected the knuckleball technique.

Penalties

Lukaku: 6 Lukaku hasn't always been at his best from the penalty spot, but Eden Hazard may step up if the opportunity arises.

Ronaldo: 9 There have been misses – 27 in all – but never when it matters most, such as his double against France: penalties number 138 and 139.

Defending

Lukaku: 7 If called on, Lukaku is no slouch; his body strength can keep opponents in check and his aerial ability can be deployed in defence as well as attack.

Ronaldo: 5 He is not going to feature too much in a high press, but at defensive set pieces that aerial ability comes to the fore.

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