Euro-2024: Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portugal group for his 11th major tournament

Cristiano Ronaldo appears in the list of 26 players unveiled Tuesday by the coach of the Portugal team, the Spaniard Roberto Martinez, for Euro-2024, where the five-time Ballon d’Or will play, at 39, his 11th major international tournament. Twenty years after his debut at Euro-2004 organized in Portugal and eight years after the Seleçao’s coronation at Euro-2016, the native of Madeira is preparing to play his 6th European Championship, a new participation record to a Euro for the one who already holds the world record for selections (206) and goals (128) for the national team.

The Seleçao will play preparation matches

Unsurprisingly, the Lusitanian squad is also marked by the absence of Raphaël Guerreiro, who was withdrawn due to injury, and the inclusion of young winger Francisco Conceiçao, who plays for FC Porto with his father, Sérgio Conceiçao, as coach. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been playing for the Saudi club Al-Nassr since the 2022 World Cup where he lost his indisputable starting status, has once again become essential for Martinez, successor to Fernando Santos and author of a faultless qualification.

With ten victories in as many matches and 36 goals scored for 2 conceded, Portugal has once again found its top scorer in this qualifying campaign in Cristiano Ronaldo (10 goals in 9 matches). Praising “a player who has scored 42 goals in 41 matches for his club”, Martinez said the striker continued to offer “a quality in front of goal which we greatly appreciate and which we need”.

Before facing the Czech Republic, Turkey then Georgia in Group F of the Euro, which will be played in Germany from June 14 to July 14, the Seleçao will play preparation matches against Finland, Croatia and ‘Ireland. Beyond Ronaldo, Roberto Martinez selected attackers Rafael Leao, João Félix and Gonçalo Ramos, as well as Pedro Neto and Francisco Conceiçao. Creation in the middle will be the responsibility of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Vitinha and Otavio, while recovery will be the responsibility of Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves or Joao Neves.

The axis of defense will be formed by Rúben Dias alongside Danilo Pereira, Antonio Silva or Gonçalo Inacio. Veteran Pepe, 41, was also called up due to his “important role in the locker room”, Martinez explained. The Lusitanian group also includes full-backs João Cancelo, Nuno Mendes, Diogo Dalot and Nélson Semedo. The Portuguese goal will be defended by goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who will have Rui Patricio and José Sa as understudies.

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