Ronaldo's record-breaking assist 'should be shown in every academy', says Martinez

By Sports Desk June 22, 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo's record-breaking seventh assist at the European Championships should be shown to all young players across the world, says Portugal boss Roberto Martinez.

Portugal sealed their place in the last 16 of Euro 2024 as Group F winners with a game to spare on Saturday, thrashing Turkiye 3-0 in Dortmund.

Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes scored either side of a comical own goal from Samet Akaydin, as the Selecao produced a far more complete performance than they managed in their last-gasp 2-1 win over Czechia on matchday one.

Fernandes' clinching goal came when Ronaldo sprang the Turkiye offside trap before unselfishly squaring for his former Manchester United team-mate when they were two-on-one versus goalkeeper Altay Bayindir.

Ronaldo's assist was his seventh at the European Championships overall, the most on record (since 1968) of any player in the competition's history.

Martinez believes that incident proved Ronaldo will always put the team first and should serve as inspiration for young players everywhere.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Martinez said: "We saw something extraordinary, in front of the goalkeeper, he gave it to Bruno Fernandes.

"He is an example that should be shown in every academy in Portugal and throughout the world of football, he showed the team is the most important thing."

Ronaldo also holds the all-time goalscoring record at the tournament, with 14, while Saturday's victory was his 23rd at major international tournaments (World Cup/Euros).

Only Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose (25 each for Germany) have recorded more such wins among European players.

Portugal's victory was overshadowed, however, by a total of six pitch invaders making it onto the playing surface, seemingly emboldened by Ronaldo posing for a photograph with the first to reach the pitch – a young boy.

Asked about those incidents, Martinez said: "It's a concern because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good.

"I think we all love a fan that recognises the big stars and the big icons, but you can understand it would be a very, very difficult moment if those intentions are wrong."

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