Even as he heads into his late 30s, few players garner as much attention and allure on the European stage as Cristiano Ronaldo, who commences his campaign this evening against Hungary. 

After a heroic display in 2016, tonight’s clash also marks the defence of Portugal’s crown and potentially Ronaldo’s last ever European Championship. 

Having missed out on much of the 2016 final following an injury, the Portugese talisman may well be driven to succeed and enjoy a monumental tournament on the international stage. 

Speaking on BettingExpert’s The Big Stage podcast, Rory Jennings revealed his pick for the tournament top goalscorer is 14/1 shot Ronaldo, to take home the Golden Boot this summer. 

“I’ve gone for Ronaldo for obvious reasons – the man is a phenomenon isn’t he? I think the bloke is truly outrageous, I’m going to back him, whatever the questions if he is there I’m going to back him.”

Ronaldo will benefit from a strengthened side around him this time out, with Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Jota adding to a rejuvenated side for Fernando Santos. 

On the other hand, the show host, Joseph Ryan waited eagerly for the bold prediction part of the show to go against Jennings and state his belief that Ronaldo won’t score a goal all tournament. 

He said: “If you think back to EURO 2016, in that final France did target Ronaldo and they took him out – he was injured for that game, so I feel that could be the plan again for France again and Germany are going to be very tough as well. Additionally the fact he has never actually scored an international goal against either of those sides. 

“Obviously Hungary he could do quite well against, but if you look at the betting odds he is around 10/11 to score anytime, but that implies that there’s around a 50% chance that he doesn’t score, so if Hungary can keep him quiet I think Germany and France can do a good job on nullifying him.”

Jennings batted back though, and predicted that Ryan’s ‘wild’ punt will be down within the first half of Portugal’s opening game.

The Big Stage: Ronaldo prepares for swansong Euros as Portugal gear up for title defence