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Euro 2024: Dias praises 'inspirational' Ronaldo before opener

By BBC
Football News GETTY IMAGES

Image caption: Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals at European Championship finals - the most in the tournament's history
TUE, 18 JUN 2024 LISTEN
GETTY IMAGES Image caption: Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals at European Championship finals - the most in the tournament's history

Portugal defender Ruben Dias described Cristiano Ronaldo as an "inspiration" as he prepares to make history by appearing in a sixth European Championship.

The veteran forward first played at a Euros in 2004 and has scored in every edition since.

Should he score in Germany this summer he will also become the tournament's oldest-ever scorer.

Portugal begin their Euro 2024 campaign in Group F against 1996 finalists the Czech Republic at Leipzig's Red Bull Arena.

Asked about what it means to see Ronaldo prepare to lead his country at Euro 2024 at the age of 39, Manchester City defender Dias said: "It represents inspiration, everything and anything. It represents what you can dream and achieve.

"It's a pleasure to have him with us. Him being with us at this moment in his career represents that he wants to be here with us, he will be here until the end. He's our captain."

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, who plays in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, scored 10 goals as Portugal produced a 100% record during qualifying for Euro 2024.

He also scored two goals as Portugal beat the Republic of Ireland 3-0 in a warm-up friendly before this summer's tournament.

Portugal boss Roberto Martinez stressed Ronaldo has plenty to offer on the international stage as they look to win a European Championship for the first time since 2016.

"Nobody gets in it by just having a name," Martinez said.

"He can make the final move, really stretch defences and over the years he has changed the way he plays.

"He is in the national team on merit and probably the numbers are there to back it up."

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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