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SOCCER

Cristiano Ronaldo vows to be at Euro 2024 with Portugal

Cristiano pledged to be at Euro 2024 with Portugal in a speech at the Portuguese Football Federation’s Quinas de Ouro gala on Tuesday.

Update:
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session at Cidade do Futebol training camp in Oeiras, Portugal, on September 20, 2022. Portugal's football team started on Tuesday the preparation for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Czech Republic and Spain. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhotoGetty

Cristiano Ronaldo is aiming to spend two decades defending the Portugal shirt. The Madeira-born striker’s international career will hit 20 years on 20 August 2023, but he is already looking beyond that. The World Cup in Qatar will not be the last big event for him as he publicly acknowledged at the Quinas de Ouro gala organized by the Portuguese Football Federation on Tuesday.

The Manchester United star was recognized at the event for his contribution to Portuguese football and for historical merit, as the top scorer of all-time in international football. Wearing a striped suit, he declared his next goals with the national team. “It has been a long road, but I take this opportunity to say that my road is not over yet. It will cost them a little more with Cris... I feel motivated, my ambition is as big as ever. I am in the national team with many young players and I want to participate in this World Cup and also the 2024 Euros. I’d like to say that here and now,” he said.

Cristiano Ronaldo in training with Portugal at the Cidade do Futebol in Oeiras this week.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo in training with Portugal at the Cidade do Futebol in Oeiras this week. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)Gualter FatiaGetty

The tournament in Qatar will be Cristiano’s fifth World Cup finals - a moment when he hopes to equal or surpass his best result - when Portugal finished in fourth place at Germany 2006 (they lost the semi-final against France and the match for third place against the hosts). Euro 2024 would come exactly 20 years after Portugal held the event - his first major tournament with the national team. On that occasion, Portugal and Cristiano reached the final only to end up losing, by the minimum, to Greece. Cristiano was later able to redeem himself however by playing a key role in helping Portugal clinch their first international title in 2016 when they won the Euros in France, making Les Bleus suffer what he went through 12 years earlier.

“I never thought I would make it”

Cristiano passed legendary Iranian player Ali Daei to become the all-time top scorer at international level in 2021 and the FPF recognized the achievement in last night’s gala. The United star humbly conceded that he did not expect to surpass Ali Daei’s record. “It is an honour to receive an award of this magnitude and to be the best scorer in the history of the national team. I never thought it would happen. I want to thank everyone who has been important in my career. I am delighted”, he declared in front of several of the most important football personalities in his country.

With a view to continuing to extend that record in Qatar, Cristiano is adapting to a very difficult season at Manchester United. He would have preferred to be at a club involved in the Champions League but could not find a way out of Old Trafford. Now, he is trying to vindicate himself in Ten Hag’s team, which hasn’t been easy - he has scored just one goal in eight games between the Premier League and the Europa League. He will need all of the playing time he can get to gear up for Qatar 2022 and hopefully extend his incredible registry of 117 goals for Portugal.

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