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Euro 2024: Cristiano Ronaldo hails Portugal as ‘love of his life’

Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken of his love for Portugal ahead of Euro 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo has described Portugal as “the love of his life” ahead of Euro 2024.

The 39-year-old scored twice in a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in his nation’s final warm-up game and increased his international goal tally to 130.

Ronaldo will play in a record-extending sixth European Championship in Germany this summer.

The Al-Nassr star won the competition in 2016 and has been prevalent in a Portugal shirt since his debut in 2003.

21 years later, Ronaldo is still shining on the biggest stage and says it is a “gift” to still be representing his country.

Speaking after Tuesday’s game, he said: “I know I don’t have many years of football left.

“It’s a gift to play year after year, after 35.

“I’m 39 and every year is about enjoying [myself]. To score for the national team is special.

“The national team is the love of my life, winning the Euros would be a dream.”

Ronaldo has won almost everything on offer to him across his career.

During long spells at Manchester United and Real Madrid, the veteran goalscorer lifted the Premier League, Champions League, LaLiga and was the recipient of multiple Ballon d’Or awards.

He went without silverware in the Saudi Pro League this season, but did score a record 35 goals in his first full campaign for Al-Nassr.

He added: “For me, playing for the national team is a passion, a love.

“Any game is special, a European Championship is special, it will be my sixth, which is also a record.

“Playing in 2004, when I made my [European Championship] debut, or playing today, the feeling is always of pride and passion.

“It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Ronaldo did not start Portugal’s final two games of the 2022 World Cup and his place on the bench was not well received.

But under new head coach Roberto Martinez, the football icon looks to be back in the frame for a spot in the starting XI in Germany.

Ronaldo said: “The most important thing is that I am well physically and psychologically.

“I am prepared, I always prepare in the best way, I am 100% professional.

“I will be ready as always to help our country [at the Euros] and respect the coach’s decisions.”

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.