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Euro 2024: Anything is possible with ‘inspirational’ Ronaldo – Dias

Ruben Dias has described Cristiano Ronaldo as an "inspiration" on the eve of Portugal's Euro 2024 bow.

Ronaldo playing football for Portugal

Ruben Dias says Cristiano Ronaldo helps Portugal believe they can achieve anything ahead of their Euro 2024 opener against Czechia on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, 39, is appearing at his sixth European Championship in Germany and will be hoping to inspire the Selecao to more glory after lifting the trophy in 2016.

The Al-Nassr supertar is also the competition’s highest scorer with 14 and Dias believes his presence will inspire the rest of the squad.

“I would say he represents inspiration, he represents that anything is possible, he represents all that you can dream, and achieve it”, the Manchester City defender said ahead of Tuesday’s 8pm (BST) kick-off.

“Mainly I would like to say it’s a pleasure to have him with us. More than all these little things or big things, him being with us in this moment of his career represents that he wants to win again.

“He’s our captain and obviously we follow him to the end.”

‘Ronaldo and Pepe’s experience is key’

Some have questioned whether Ronaldo can still produce the goods at the highest stage but manager Roberto Martinez insisted he and fellow veteran Pepe, 41, will be crucial.

“[Ronaldo] is very important… at tournaments, Euros and World Cups, the key is a mix of experience and new talent,” said Martinez.

“Our team does it perfectly – you mentioned Cristiano, and him and Pepe bring experience nobody else has, they are the two oldest players at the tournament.

“Then we have [the young players too]… we need all of this, they all need to be linked together, committed, that is crucial for us.”

Czechia have a plan

Czechia will be the first team tasked with keeping Ronaldo and Co, who are tipped to reach the latter stages of the competition.

And West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek isn’t underestimating the threat posed by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“We all know Ronaldo’s quality especially if you give him space,” Soucek told a news conference.

“We can’t give him an inch, especially in the area – (there) we need to double our defence on him.

“Our goal is to stop him but obviously we need to stop the rest of the Portuguese team too.”

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with experience writing for national title, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.