Martinez confirms Ronaldo set for landmark appearance at Euros

By Sports Desk June 25, 2024

Roberto Martinez confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will start against Georgia in their final Euro 2024 group game to make a landmark appearance.

The Portugal captain is set to become the first European player to make appear in 50 games at major tournaments in his next match, and a start against Georgia will take him to 28 caps at the Euros.

The Selecao have already confirmed their place in the last 16 as Group F winners with a 3-0 victory over Turkiye last time out, after beating Czechia 2-1 in their opener.

So, Martinez was expected to make changes to his starting line-up with one eye on the knockout stage, but the Spaniard was happy to confirm Ronaldo would not be one of them.

"I can say that the captain will be in the starting team. It's important," said Martinez. "He only played one preparation match.

"His season was very consistent, and he has played every game, has had a lot of minutes at his club. To continue with the competitive rhythm, it's not good to stop now and then reactivate in six days.

"We prepared the game to win. I believe the integrity of the tournament is essential.

"It is an important match because the result will show who will and will not be qualified. Georgia had a very interesting European Championship, could have beaten the Czech Republic in the last play of the match.

"They were very competitive against Turkey. We need to maintain the same focus and win."

Portugal were the victim of multiple pitch invaders against Turkiye as fans tried to get close to Ronaldo.

While the 39-year-old took the time to take a photo with one young fan but appeared frustrated as the trend continued.

Martinez added: "He's a very experienced player, he's been with the team for over 20 years.

"He knows the kind of support fans provide, but not just Portugal fans, football fans. I hope there won't be any pitch invasions - this is dangerous and it's not good for football, it's not a part of the game that we want to see."

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    Houston Dynamo – Ibrahim Aliyu

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    Houston Dynamo – 53.2%

    Draw – 24%

    Minnesota United – 22.9%

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    Colombia will be featuring in just their third Copa America final (also 1975 and 2001), becoming the fourth team to reach multiple finals at the competition this century, after Argentina (six), Brazil (four) and Chile (two).

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    Colombia have only won one of their last 12 meetings with Argentina (five draws, six defeats) – a 2-0 group-stage win at the 2019 Copa America. The teams' last draw led to Colombia losing on penalties in the 2021 Copa quarter-finals, with Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona all unsuccessful from 12 yards.

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