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Cristiano Ronaldo to become the first to play in six European Championship

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Cristiano Ronaldo was named in Portugal’s 26-member squad for the European Championships. Consequently, he is set to create history as the first footballer to play in six editions of the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo played his first-ever European Championship in 2004. Since then, he has scored in every Euro and netted 14 goals in the finals. The 39-year-old had led Portugal to their first-ever European title in 2016.

“He’s a player who’s scored 42 goals in 41 games for his club. That shows his continuity and physical ability to always be fit, as well as the quality he has in front of goal, which we really like and need,” Portugal manager Roberto Martinez said after his selection.

It is to be noted that Cristiano Ronaldo fell out of favor with coach Fernando Santos during Portugal’s 2022 World Cup campaign. Eventually, he was omitted from the starting XI post the group stages. Portugal’s exited from the World Cup after losing against Morocco in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo now plays for Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr. He has scored 42 goals and provided 13 assists for his present club.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo will not be the oldest member of the squad. 41-year old Pepe, who was Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate also made the cut.

“Pepe’s role in the dressing room is important, the way he represents the national team shirt. I think that during the training camp, football is a constant struggle,” Martinez added.

Pepe was an integral part of Portugal team this year, as they reached the last 16 stage of the Champions League. They finished third behind Sporting and Benfica. 

Martinez addes, “And it was interesting to see Pepe play two games in March and keep a clean sheet for the 90 minutes he played. His communication, his positioning mean that, when he’s fit, he’s a very important player.”

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