Ronaldo would have to show huge resolve to turn public opinion back in his favour, even among Manchester United supporters, but his performance in Munich showed those commodities are not in short supply.
He was a major threat to France, particularly in the first half, a lone source of hope in a Portugal side that was too lightweight to threaten a serious knock-out blow to the rejuvenated 1998 champions.
The irony is that Ronaldo is the sort of player Sven-Goran Eriksson would have killed for to add an extra dimension to his squad.
Sadly, the other face of Ronaldo was also in evidence. The amateur dramatics – actually, let’s call it diving – that earned him the contempt of thousands inside this space-age home of Bayern Munich.
It is a sorry scar on the game of a lavishly-talented individual, and it is true there may be no way back for him in England as he continues, with perhaps a little too much zeal, to be set up as next season’s Premiership hate figure.
Ronaldo will have to grow a thick skin to survive the treatment he is likely to receive, although he appeared to grow with every round of abuse in Munich.
And yet, it may be something he can turn to his advantage, given his recent flirtation with Real Madrid.
If Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester for Madrid, what better excuse than to say life is now impossible in England?
It may well be – and The Bernabeu is not an unattractive alternative.
The sorry chapter in this saga is that Ronaldo showed again against France that there is a potentially stunning talent attempting to escape from the variety of feints, step-overs and dives that are a blot on his landscape.
Ronaldo may have cried in Munich – unfortunately for him and his talent, many others were laughing.