At Euro 2024, Cristiano Ronaldo proved that he remains an important asset for Portugal, demonstrating his lasting influence despite the ups and downs of the tournament.

 

At Euro 2024, Cristiano Ronaldo proved that he remains an important asset for Portugal, demonstrating his lasting influence despite the ups and downs of the tournament.

Plus: 41-year-old Pepe also turns in impressive display for Portugal; giant Georgia No 1 Giorgi Mamardashvili shows why he may be Newcastle-bound this summer; Turkey must turn up against Czech Republic in order to secure second place in Group F

Group F, Matchday 2, Dortmund stadium, Portugal's Bruno Fernandes (r-l) celebrates his goal for 0:3 with Portugal's Joao Cancelo and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Roberto Martinez saw a role for him in his Portugal team and the 39-year-old icon has responded. Ten goals in qualifying suggested that he still has it. He is still waiting for his first at Euro 2024 but only because he chose to pass to Bruno Fernandes instead.

That was his seventh assist in European Championship matches, the most of any player since records began in 1968. Ronaldo is seen as a soloist and there are hints of histrionics here, those flailing arms when the ball somehow does not come his way.

But with quality and movement around him, he was in his element in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Turkey. Fernandes and Bernardo Silva bring the craft but there is also pace out wide and class in those deep midfield positions too. And what depth in the squad as well.

Twenty years on from Ronaldo’s first appearance at the Euros, that near miss on home soil against Greece, and eight years on from the triumph in France that came only after he had been forced off through injury, perhaps another special moment awaits.
Adam Bate

 

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