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Sport Ronaldo on verge of record and is excited by this Portugal side

21:56  14 june  2021
21:56  14 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, William Carvalho, Cristiano Ronaldo are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Cristiano Ronaldo has few heights left to scale and yet another record will fall at his feet when he leads Portugal out against Hungary and becomes the only footballer to appear in five Euros finals.

Ronaldo scored on his first appearance, as a teenager against Greece on home soil in 2004, and led his nation to its greatest footballing triumph in France, five years ago.

By strange twist of fate, having done so much to haul them to final, he was injured, moth-bothered and tearfully demoted to the role of touchline motivator as Portugal won their first major trophy in Paris.

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As they prepare for a delayed defence of the title, his influence is as strong as ever ahead of the first fixture of the extraordinarily tough Group F, also featuring France and Germany.

'I am not overwhelmed by this record,' said Ronaldo on Monday on the prospect of his fifth Euros. 'It is a good record but more important than this would to win back-to-back Euros.

'The team is ready, physically and emotionally. Our players are young but that doesn't prevent us from dreaming. It is my fifth but for me it's like my first. I want to play well and have good thoughts from the first to the last match.'

Hungary captain Adam Szalai said on Monday night what many others are thinking: 'Portugal is much stronger than it was in 2016'.

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Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Diogo Jota have all emerged while the vast of experience of Ronaldo, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, Rui Patricio and Jose Fonte remains in place.

Fernando Santos remains at the helm and they have another title having won the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament.

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'As a team we don't know yet,' said Ronaldo, playing down expectations. 'This is a different tournament. It is not the same tournament as 2016. This is a younger team with great potential. Only by playing will we know if it is better or worse.

'On a personal level, I am not the same player I was 18 years ago, or 10 years ago or five. We keep adjusting and adapting. The most intelligent thing about a footballer is the ability to adjust.

'I am more mature - and the numbers speak for themselves. From 18 to 36, I have managed to adjust and adapt. I have always been able to win and, on a collective level, be part of a team that has been able to win. I have shown that the key is to adjust all along my career.'

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His own future is uncertain with only a year to go on his contract at Juventus and transfer speculation swirling.

'I've been playing at the highest level for many years,' he replied, when asked if this preyed on his mind. 'This doesn't faze me at all. If I was 18 or 19, maybe I would have sleepless nights but I am 36 years old and whatever comes will be for the best.

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'Regardless of if I stay at Juve or am transferred, the crucial thing is the Euros. I am going to enjoy this. Nothing shakes us. Whatever comes from outside doesn't affect us.'

This ability to resist distractions applies also to the positive Covid test result ruling Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo out of Portugal's squad at the last minute.

'If our focus is on something else our faces will drift to that,' said Ronaldo.

'Joao tested positive but everyone in the team is at peace. We don't think about Covid because we are all tired of this. Not just the team, everyone in the world. It's a sad situation.'

Portugal will face a partisan crowd of 61,000 against Hungary in Budapest, the only Euro 2020 venue at full capacity from the start of the tournament, a decision taken by local authorities based upon the Government's vaccination programme.

The perfect 10! Cristiano Ronaldo breaks Michel Platini's Euros record

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a man with a football ball: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

More than half the population have been vaccinated and all Hungarians inside the Puskas Arena on Tuesday night will have to show their national immunity card.

'I wish every single venue could host a full house,' said Ronaldo, who requires one more goal to move clear of Michel Platini and become the out-and-out top scorer at Euro finals with 10.

'It's great for viewers, it's great for the players but sadly it is not up to us. We know the pandemic has an influence. I wish I could always play in front of a full house.

'Hungary are very organised, very strong and playing at home but this is football and if we want to win we must be prepared for what comes our way. We are ready not only for this match. We will always be ready. We want to start on the right foot.'

Read more

Mourinho claims Fernandes has been ANONYMOUS for Portugal at Euro 2020 .
Bruno Fernandes has managed just 58 passes altogether in their opening Group F win against Hungary before their subsequent 4-2 defeat by Germany, and has had just one shot on target.The Manchester United star has managed just 58 passes altogether in their opening Group F win against Hungary before their subsequent 4-2 defeat by Germany, and has struck just one shot on target.

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