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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to make history at Euro 2024

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to make history at Euro 2024
© Reuters
Cristiano Ronaldo will become the first player to take part in six European Championships when he represents Portugal at Euro 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo will become the first player to take part in six European Championships when he takes to the field for Portugal at this summer's competition in Germany.

The 39-year-old has unsurprisingly been named in the Portugal squad for Euro 2024, with head coach Roberto Martinez confirming his 26-man selection on Tuesday afternoon.

Ronaldo's international future looked to be in severe doubt at the end of the 2022 World Cup.

However, he has been a vital player since Martinez's arrival in January 2023, and the veteran attacker netted 10 times in six matches during qualification for this summer's tournament.

As it stands, Ronaldo is level on five European Championship appearances with Spain's legendary former goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates on October 13, 2023© Reuters

Ronaldo will play in a sixth European Championship

However, the forward will move out on his own at six when he represents his country in Germany.

Martinez said during his press conference on Tuesday that it was impossible to leave Ronaldo out of the squad considering the numbers that he continues to post.

Indeed, Ronaldo has managed 42 goals and 13 assists in 42 appearances Al-Nassr this season, while he is the all-time highest international men's goalscorer with 128.

"Regarding Cristiano, it's better to talk about the data," Martinez said. "He is a player who scores 42 goals in 42 games for his club, and this shows his continuity and physical ability to always be fit, in addition to the quality he has in front of goal that we really like and need."

Portugal will play in three pre-tournament friendlies against Finland, Croatia and the Republic of Ireland before tackling Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 opener on June 18.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal on October 13, 2023© Reuters

Was Ronaldo ever in any danger of being left out?

In short, no. Martinez made it clear upon his arrival as head coach that Ronaldo would be a key player for him, and that has indeed been the case.

The forward was in stunning form during qualification for Euro 2024, netting 10 times in total, including four braces, and he is still scoring at an impressive rate for his club.

Ronaldo is no longer operating in a top European league, but there is certainly an argument that he could still be finding the back of the net on a regular basis in one of the world's best divisions.

Portugal's squad is packed full of talent, but Ronaldo's record speaks for itself, and he inspires those around him.

His departure from Man United, the second time, would certainly have been a low-point in his career, but the move to Saudi Arabia has proven to be a success, and it would not be a surprise to see him lead Portugal to success at Euro 2024 in what could potentially be his final international tournament.

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Portugal on June 11, 2024
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