You can't win 'em all, Cristiano.

The 13 international teams that Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t won against

Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal in 200321 whole years ago—and there aren’t too many teams he hasn’t tasted victory against in that time. Well, there are exactly 13 of them, actually, as the title of this article suggests.

Ronaldo has played over 200 games for his country and has done a pretty good job of helping Portugal overcome the majority of teams they’ve faced in that time, at some point.

All players have their bogey teams, though, and it just so happens that Ronaldo has 13 of them at international level.

Let’s have a look at those Ronaldo-repellent nations, shall we?


Portugal have actually beaten the Italians twice since Ronaldo made his international debut, however the talisman wasn’t in the squad either time. Ronaldo has faced Italy twice, once in 2004, and once in 2008. Portugal lost both of those encounters.

Are they better off without him…?


Portugal faced Greece twice at Euro 2004—once in the group stage and once in the final. Ronaldo played in both of those games. Greece won them both. Everyone’s a superstar until they come up against Nikos Dabizas.

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Ronaldo has actually faced Germany five times, spanning his international career, and all of them were competitive matches. Germany won every single one of those battles. Ronaldo’s bane. Man has an entire country living in his head rent-free.

Ivory Coast

Portugal’s opening game of World Cup 2010 was a 0-0 draw with the Ivory Coast. It’s the only time the two nations have faced each other since Ronaldo’s debut, and so they remain unbeaten versus the forward.

The Iberians scored seven goals in that group stage, and they all came in the same match—a 7-0 demolition of North Korea.


You’ll notice an asterisk next to this one, and that’s because Ronaldo has never beaten Macedonia, but Macedonia no longer exists as a nation. It’s a region in the Balkans, now, and he has beaten North Macedonia since the goalless 2012 friendly draw with Macedonia.

However, there is another nation on this list that is partially in the geographical region of Macedonia in 2024. Let’s go there next, actually.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal during the match of La Liga between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alaves at Bernabeu Stadium Stadium in Madrid, Spain. April 02, 2017.

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Bulgaria beat Portugal 1-0 in a friendly back in 2016. Ronaldo missed a penalty in the 67th minute. You hate to see it.


Antonio Valencia put Ecuador 1-0 up in the second minute of this 2013 friendly. Ronaldo scored to bring Portugal level at half-time but he couldn’t stop the Ecuadorians finishing the game 3-2 victors.

Portugal right-back Ricardo Perreira scored an own goal and was later subbed for now Sporting boss Ruben Amorim in an attempt to claw the game back. It didn’t work.


Portugal famously didn’t win a single group stage game at Euro 2016, yet went on to win the tournament. They drew 0-0 with Austria in the second of those group stage matches—the only time the two nations have met since Ronaldo’s debut in 2003.


Mexico have played Portugal four times since Ronaldo broke onto the international scene. The Portuguese won three of those ties, and drew the other.

Ronaldo did not feature in the three they won, because of being rested for the next game, not being picked in the squad, or being on “special leave”, respectively (according to Transfermarkt).

Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Portugal against Greece in the final of Euro 2004 at the Estadio da Luz, Lisbon. 4 July 2004.

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Portugal were beaten by a vintage Chile side on penalties in the 2017 Confederations Cup semis. Ronaldo didn’t take a penalty. They’d learned from their mistakes. Problem is—Nan, Ricardo Quaresma, and Joao Moutinho all had their penalties saved by Claudio Bravo.

So it goes.

South Korea

Whilst Ghana and Uruguay were busy playing out their World Cup grudge rematch in 2022, South Korea were getting on with felling Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 2-1, with the winner coming from Wolves’ Hwang Hee-Chan.

Ronaldo hadn’t played against South Korea, and hasn’t faced them since.


Ukraine squared up to Portugal twice during the qualification process for Euro 2020 (or 2021, as it transpired). The first of those games was a 0-0 stalemate, but the Ukrainians prevailed 2-1 in the second fixture.

Ronaldo scored but, unfortunately for Portugal, so did Roman Yaremchuk and Andriy Yarmolenko.


In what is, at the time of writing, Portugal’s most recent friendly, Ronaldo faced Slovenia for the first time in his career. It did not go well for him. Portugal were defeated 2-0 in Slovenia, despite playing essentially a full-strength team.