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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo has "learned to adjust" while ageing

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo has
© Reuters
The defending champions open their Euro 2020 campaign in Budapest on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has attributed his enduring success to his ability to adjust as he has grown older.

The 36-year-old Portugal skipper will lead his country once again as they launch their Euro 2020 campaign in Hungary on Tuesday attempting to defend the title they claimed in France five years ago.

Asked if both they and he were better or worse-placed to achieve their dream, Ronaldo told a press conference: "As a team, we don't know yet. This is a different tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in France
Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in France (Joe Giddens/PA)

"We're not the same team we were in 2016, this is a younger team, this is a team with great potential and only by playing will we know if we're better or worse than we were in 2016.

"On a personal level, I'm not the same player I was 18 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago. We keep adjusting. The most intelligent thing about a football player is the ability to adjust.

"From 18 to 36, I've learned to adjust. Regardless of winning silverware, I've always adjusted and adapted and on a personal level, I've always been able to win and also on a collective level with the teams I've played for."

Ronaldo, who has 104 international goals to his name, will become the first man to play at five Euros finals, but he insists personal milestones are secondary.

He said: "This record, I'm not overwhelmed. It's a good record, but more important than this would be to win back-to-back Euros."

The Group F rivals met in France five years ago with Ronaldo scoring twice as his side came from behind three times to draw 3-3 in Lyon, and their task may be no more straightforward in Budapest this time around.

Hungary's Italian head coach Marco Rossi is well aware of the task his men face with France and Germany waiting in the wings, and he admitted he would be happy to accept Ronaldo's earlier assertion that he would take losing at the Puskas Arena tomorrow and winning the final.

Rossi said with a smile: "If that were possible, then of course I'd sign on the dotted line. I'd make that deal immediately.

"What he was trying to say was that based on the experience he's had in the past, and all of the dozens of trophies that he's won throughout his career both as an individual and as part of a team, Cristiano Ronaldo is well aware that yes, it's important how you start a tournament, but it's even more import how you finish the tournament.

"We have to approach tomorrow night's game as if it was the last game of our careers, and that's the difference between the two sides."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina23141350
United StatesUnited States20231659
JapanJapan175931
AustraliaAustralia1431431
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Tables

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