“…Roger…Garp…Sengoku… Those who know the seas from back then have become quite few.”

“It’s been 22 years… Of course.”

“You’ve come up quite well yourself… A mere apprentice on Gol D. Roger’s ship, that little brat!!!”

This is a conversation between Whitebeard and Red-Haired Shanks from ‘ONE PIECE.’

In 1998, I came to know the world through the World Cup, and in EURO 2000, I understood the essence of football. Since EURO 2004, the players who felt tension, excitement, and tears on that stage have become an indispensable part of life.

“Manuel Rui Costa!! The last pride of the Golden Age!!”

Even now, the commentary by Karasawa during the Portugal vs. England match in EURO 2004 is etched in my memory.

…Zidane…Figo…Rui Costa…

Those who know football from back then have become quite few.

20 years have passed. It’s only natural.


EURO 2004 was also a turning point to a new era.

Multiple young stars were born, and by storming onto the European stage, the “New World,” after the tournament, football underwent dramatic evolution.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who instilled fear, Ronaldinho, who made the world realize that football is not something to be played with fear and tension with his smile, and the invincible Spain national team born along with the emergence of the greatest player in history, the strongest Barca.

We have lived in a blessed era.

An era where we could witness the prime of Messi and Ronaldo in real time.

The ten years from 2008 to 2017, during which the two monopolized the Ballon d’Or, is undoubtedly a historically significant decade in football history.

Among the players who know football from back then, the only one who participated in this EURO 2024 is Ronaldo.

I chose Portugal as the winner prediction this time, also out of gratitude towards Ronaldo.

However, Portugal was defeated by France in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout.

“You’re nervous, aren’t you, Furuhashi? Don’t worry. You and Ichikawa have been trained to handle even giant monsters.”

“I understand. I need to show that-” “Furuhashi.”

“I call the minimum result that comes out when all elements go downward your capability. So go ahead, be nervous, fail, and underperform. That will be enough for you to be effective. Let’s go.”

This is a conversation between Ogata and Furuhashi from ‘Kaiju No. 8.’

In his last few years at Madrid, the three years at Juve, and playing for United and in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo’s positive impact on the team over 90 minutes has almost disappeared.

His dribbles no longer beat opponents, holding the ball no longer benefits the team, and his passing options have dwindled day by day.

Yet, he continued to demonstrate his value by scoring goals, even when all elements went downward.

That is Ronaldo.

However, in EURO 2024, he couldn’t even deliver that minimum result.

The Portuguese national team had evolved.

In EURO 2020, they were completely dominated by France and managed to hold a draw only by two penalty goals. This time, they managed to control the game against France.

Especially the growth of Vitinha, who struggled to adapt to Paris and was scolded by Neymar, was pleasing to see for someone who has been watching Paris for a long time.

The year in Europe without Ronaldo and Messi was indeed tasteless.

If asked if I wanted to watch the Portuguese national team without Ronaldo, my answer would be “NO.”

However, parting with Ronaldo, who couldn’t even deliver the minimum result, might be necessary for Portugal to move to the next stage.

Ironically, just as a generational shift took place in EURO 2004 when Ronaldo emerged.

EURO 2024 will likely be Ronaldo’s last.

Modric has announced his retirement from the national team.

Kroos has retired from professional football.

Nico Williams, when asked by reporters before the qualifying match against Italy about his impression of Italy, answered “Balotelli.”

The French boy who admired Ronaldo has become the captain of the French national team, stood shoulder to shoulder with his idol, and from this season, will wear the Real Madrid jersey.

This EURO wasn’t as exciting or as full of discoveries as the previous one.

The French national team, the English national team, and the Italian national team were all stronger and made me feel the evolution of football more in the previous EURO.

The club team-like national teams are starting to change again.

“Which enemy did you give that left arm to?”


…I will gather a crew that won’t lose to this one someday!! And become the Pirate King!!!…

“…I’ve bet on a new era.”

This is a conversation between Whitebeard and Red-Haired Shanks from ‘ONE PIECE.’