Gareth Southgate will stay on as England manager through Euro 2024, ending speculation over his future following the Three Lions' quarter-final exit from the World Cup.

Luka Modric has decided to play on for Croatia after the veteran captain helped his team to bronze at the Qatar World Cup.

That could mean Modric remains at the heart of the Croatia midfield at Euro 2024, by which time he will be approaching his 39th birthday.

Real Madrid playmaker Modric is not looking quite that far ahead for now, but crucially he has not ruled out extending his career for his country through to that point.

The first step for Modric will be a tilt with his country at the Nations League Finals in the Netherlands next year, with Croatia joined in that four-team tournament by the hosts, plus Italy and Spain.

Thrilled with another World Cup medal, after a silver four years ago in Russia, Modric told beIN SPORTS: "This medal is very important for us, for me, for Croatia as a national team and as a country.

"We confirm with this medal that Croatia is playing an important role in the world of football, and we are leaving Qatar as winners.

"About my future, I don't know if I will be at the Euros in Germany. I need to go step by step.

"I'm enjoying the national team, I feel happy, I still think I can perform on a high level, and I want to continue at least until the Nations League, and then after there'll be more time to think about the Euros.

"But now it's go step by step and continue at least until the Nations League, and after we will see."

There had been concern in some quarters that Modric would retire from international football after this World Cup, but coach Zlatko Dalic expressed optimism he would play on through to the 2024 European finals in Germany.

Now, after Saturday's 2-1 win over Morocco in the third-place play-off, Dalic's wish is close to becoming a reality.

Croatia have Wales, Armenia, Turkey and Latvia in their Euro 2024 qualifying group, and they would be strongly favoured to come through that and reach the finals.

It remains to be seen whether Dejan Lovren plays on, with the 33-year-old centre-back left with some thinking to do about his own future.

Lovren said getting a World Cup bronze was "something special" and paid tribute to Modric, his long-time colleague in the national team.

"I get emotional, because it's for us the last World Cup, and I lived so many great memories with him," Lovren said.

He said it was "an honour" to play in the company of such a top performer, with Modric having won the Ballon d'Or award after Croatia's run to the 2018 World Cup final.

Lovren even said Modric had proven himself a superior performer to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the latter stages of World Cups.

Messi may have something to say about that after Sunday's final, when Argentina take on France.

"He's better than them in these moments," Lovren said of Modric. "There's not too many players who took the silver and the bronze.

"He can be proud and he knows that. He's a special guy."

As for his own future, with a view to the next Euros, former Liverpool defender Lovren said: "I wish I can tell you what will happen in two years. I'm just enjoying this moment, and we will see."

Resignation never entered Hansi Flick's thoughts following Germany's early World Cup exit, as the coach lamented "unacceptable" mistakes.

A premature departure from Qatar means four-time champions Germany have suffered back-to-back group-stage exits at the World Cup, having also been eliminated early in Russia four years ago.

A 2-1 defeat to Japan in their opening match was followed by a 1-1 draw against Spain, while a 4-2 win over Costa Rica in their final Group E game was not enough.

Despite those shortcomings, Flick's focus remained on his post and he says the idea of leaving was never considered.

"No. It was never an issue for me to resign," he told SID.

"I am absolutely convinced. And the communication and cooperation with Bernd Neuendorf and [Hans-Joachim] Watzke are very good, we have a good understanding."

Germany's exit from the competition came despite having an expected goals (xG) of 10.4 from the group stages, higher than any other side, though only six goals were scored from 69 shots – showing Flick where improvements are needed.

"If you put the data on top of that, we were one of the teams that created the most scoring chances. But we lacked efficiency," he added.

"Defensively it was only average, so we didn't have enough compactness. The opponents took advantage of this, they had the efficiency that we lacked.

"We didn't have the consistency over 90 minutes to pull through our match plan 100 percent. But we need that for the future, which is enormously important.

"Mistakes like the last 30 minutes against Japan are unacceptable at this level."

Germany will now look to build towards Euro 2024, which they are hosting, and Flick knows exactly what his side need to work on.

"We have to generate enthusiasm again. Every player and every coach wants to be supported by the fans," he added.

"But we know that the general mood, which was depressed by the last tournaments anyway, was not improved by our performance in Qatar.

"We want to change that. We want to show attractive football and prove to the fans: 'we get it'.

"We're proud to be able to play for Germany and we're looking forward to the European Championships at home. Everyone has to give their all to show top performance in every game."

As the host nation, Germany's spot at the 2024 European Championship is already secure, with friendlies likely to be played in March's international break.

Zlatko Dalic is optimistic Luka Modric will play for Croatia at Euro 2024.

Modric won the Ballon d'Or after leading Croatia to the World Cup final in Russia four years ago, and the Real Madrid star enjoyed another fine tournament as Dalic's men reached the final four in Qatar.

However, the 37-year-old was unable to inspire his team to a semi-final victory over Argentina on Tuesday, leading to suggestions he may retire from the international game.

Modric refused to give anything away regarding his future after the defeat, and Dalic is hopeful he will stay on for at least another 18 months.

"I hope that he [Modric] will be there [at Euro 2024]," Dalic said. "I am looking forward to it.

"It is not certain that he will there be and he will personally decide how he feels. I personally feel that he will be, but it ultimately is his decision."

Croatia started their World Cup campaign with a 0-0 draw against Morocco in Group F, and they face the African side again in Saturday's bronze-medal match.

Walid Regragui's outfit have been the surprise package of the tournament, with Dalic comparing their stunning run to Croatia's surge to the 2018 final.

"Morocco remind me of us four and a half years ago," he said. "Nobody expected them to be this high, but they got to where they are with their quality and emotions.

"From game to game, they only grew and I think we are in for a much more difficult match than the one from the opening group.

"We have full and great respect for them. They show unity and are not afraid of anyone."

Morocco captured the imagination of football fans around the world during their World Cup campaign, which saw them stun Belgium, Spain and Portugal.

They suffered a 2-0 defeat to France in the semi-final on Wednesday and boss Regragui is struggling to get excited about the third-place play-off.

"It is a little bit difficult," he said. "It is very complicated for both teams. You are so disappointed; you have just lost a semi-final and then two days later you have to go back out there.

"It is like the booby prize. I'm sorry for speaking like this. I understand it should be important, I understand it is better to finish third than fourth, but, for me, my takeaway is just that we didn't get to the final.

"Even if we did get to the final, and I finished second, I would be saying the same thing to you.

"We want to be as positive as possible, especially for our fans. Finishing third would be great for our image."

Luis de la Fuente confidently suggested there is no better coach to take charge of Spain after speaking for the first time since being announced as Luis Enrique's successor.

La Roja parted ways with their previous coach following their shock World Cup exit to Morocco in the last-16, on the back of a difficult Qatar 2022 campaign.

De la Fuente, who has coached Spain's Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 teams over the past decade, was confirmed as his replacement, with the 61-year-old set to make his bow in Euro 2024 qualification next year.

Speaking at his official presentation, the former Athletic Bilbao defender marked out his credentials on why he is the right man to take charge and vowed to be flexible in how the country approaches its national team.

"I was a professional footballer for 15 years," he stated. "I have won titles. I have coached at international level in all age categories except the senior one.

"With all my humility and honesty, if there is someone who knows what the future of Spanish football is, it is me. You know who takes the reins of this team.

"There will be no negotiation about our model. I will try to provide nuances to improve it, interpret its evolution. We will not close our minds to anything."

De la Fuente confirmed he would not necessarily move on Spain's senior stalwarts to make way for younger players he has already coached, while he also paid tribute to his predecessor.

"I have had a very close relationship with Luis Enrique and I thank him," he added. "We have exchanged messages, and he congratulated me."

"You don't have to analyse anything about the World Cup. Luis Enrique's work has been extraordinary, but you can still miss getting a result.

"I count on the youngsters but I am also a fan of the veterans who have done great things. Sergio Busquets is the living history of football. If Sergio Ramos is in good shape, he can come too."

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at the World Cup in Qatar looking to cap his remarkable international career by lifting football's greatest prize.

But the forward ended his campaign distraught, being led to the dressing room in tears after Morocco stunned Portugal with a 1-0 quarter-final victory at Al Thumama Stadium.

Ronaldo's tournament was one to forget, with the 37-year-old unceremoniously dropped for his nation's best performance against Switzerland in the last 16 and again being reduced to a role off the bench against Morocco.

It was an underwhelming campaign, but one that will not detract from his previous achievements on the international stage, regardless of whether he continues to represent his country.

As well as becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in men's international football, Ronaldo led Portugal to their first major trophy at Euro 2016 before repeating the trick in the Nations League, and his Selecao records look unlikely to be matched any time soon.

With one of the all-time greats facing an uncertain future after seeing his "biggest and most ambitious dream" dashed, Stats Perform assesses the remarkable numbers behind Ronaldo's Portugal career.

 

Ronaldo has attracted plenty of plaudits for his longevity, deciding games at the highest level from his teenage years until his late thirties. The forward's incredible tally of 196 Portugal caps puts him 50 clear of his nearest contender – Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho with 146. 

If his appearance record looks set to stand for a long time, his goalscoring numbers look even less likely to be challenged – Ronaldo's tally of 118 international goals is more than double that of Portugal's second-highest goalscorer (Pauleta with 47), and is unmatched in the history of men's football.

Indeed, Iran's Ali Daei is the only other player to have reached a century of goals in international football, hitting the net 109 times.

While Ronaldo's ability to reinvent himself as the ultimate goal poacher allowed him to prosper on the club stage, his international goalscoring prowess was by no means a later development.

Ronaldo failed to score on his first two Portugal appearances as an 18-year-old in 2003, but he has netted at least one international goal in each of the 19 subsequent years.

In 2004, a teenage Ronaldo hit the net seven times in 16 international appearances, helping his side to the Euro 2004 final on home soil and scoring at a rate of a goal every 145 minutes.

Ronaldo's most prolific year for Portugal came in 2019, when he scored 14 times in just 10 appearances at an incredible rate of 59 minutes per goal.

 

On the club stage, Ronaldo has carved out a reputation as the ultimate big-game player – netting in Champions League finals for both Manchester United and Real Madrid while outscoring every other player on Europe's grandest stage (140 goals).

Ronaldo has also appeared to prefer playing within his own continent in a Portugal shirt; his tally of 14 goals at the European Championships is an all-time record, putting him five clear of France great Michel Platini.

Ronaldo has also hit the net seven times in just 11 Nations League games, perhaps making it fitting that his greatest achievements have come when leading his side to continental glory at Euro 2016 and in 2018-19's Nations League campaign.

At the World Cup, it has been a slightly different story for Ronaldo. His tally of eight finals goals is certainly not to be taken lightly, but all of those efforts came in the group stages – no player has scored more often at the tournament without netting in a knockout tie.

Ronaldo did become the first player to score in five different editions of the World Cup when he struck a penalty in their group-stage win over Ghana last month, but that record will mean little in the context of his failure to carry his continental achievements into the world's most important competition.

 

Ronaldo may have failed to get his hands on international football's most prestigious trophy, but that has not stopped the likes of Johan Cruyff or Ferenc Puskas from being considered contenders to be the greatest player to have played the sport.

Proponents of Ronaldo's suitability for that title have often highlighted his raw numbers, and they certainly speak to an historic legacy.

Twenty-four of Ronaldo's 118 Portugal goals have been scored at the World Cup, European Championships or Confederations Cup, with just 20 coming in friendlies, demonstrating his status as a player who has thrived under the brightest of lights.

Age catches up with us all eventually, however, and Ronaldo's displays in Qatar attracted plenty of detractors. 

Where Ronaldo ranks among the greatest players to feature on the international stage will continue to be discussed, but his incredible statistics ensure he will always have a place in that debate.

Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella claims the Azzurri should have been at the World Cup "by right" after being crowned European champions.

A stunning 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia in a play-off qualification game in March eliminated Italy, who were almost totally dominant but conceded the game's only goal in second-half stoppage time.

It meant four-time winners Italy have failed to qualify for two consecutive World Cups, unprecedented in their history, and Inter star Barella has felt unable to watch the tournament due to his gripe that he should be involved.

In fact, he suggested the latest winners of the European and South American championships should always be granted automatic places at the World Cup. Such a move would be unlikely to go down well with confederations from other continents, unless they were also cut in on such an arrangement.

Italy, who won the delayed Euro 2020 finals last year, remain devastated by their World Cup qualifying stumble.

"I haven't seen half a match of the World Cup yet, I can't understand the feeling I feel," Barella said.

"They say that the pitch is always right, but for me in this case it gave an unfair response. Today it was our turn, maybe tomorrow it will be the turn of others: whoever wins a European Championship or a Copa America deserves to go to a World Cup by right."

Barella's suggestion is similar to one from Roberto Mancini, the Italy head coach, last month. Mancini also said the champions of every continent should be awarded an automatic spot at the World Cup.

Barella hopes to go to the 2026 tournament, which will be co-hosted by Mexico, Canada and the United States, and can see him remaining an Inter player through to that time.

A host of teams, including Chelsea and Liverpool from the Premier League, have been linked as possible suitors for Barella, who has a contract with Inter that runs through to 2026.

"We have to get there first," he said of the next World Cup, "but yeah, I see myself on the pitch in 2026 still as an Inter player."

Whether Milan Skriniar remains at Inter for so long must be in major doubt.

Paris Saint-Germain wanted him in the last transfer window and may come back in January, and the 27-year-old Slovakian centre-back is due to lapse out of contract at the end of the season.

Barella will let Skriniar make his own decisions about the future, insisting others should not play any part.

"I will never allow myself to give him advice," Barella said. "Everyone makes their choices. Then, at the end of his career, we will see if they were right or wrong. I hope he stays because in addition to being incredibly strong, he is a brother."

Kenny Dalglish is among those who have paid tribute to former Liverpool and England striker David Johnson, after he died at the age of 71.

The attacker, who lifted four top-flight titles and the European Cup three times during his time at Anfield, won eight caps for the Three Lions and scored six times.

A member of England's Euro 1980 squad, Johnson - nicknamed 'Doc' - was a part of the Liverpool squad that dominated football at home and abroad under Bob Paisley.

Dalglish, who lined up alongside the forward in their 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in the 1981 European Cup Final, honoured his late team-mate with a statement on social media.

"Sad news about The "Doc"," he wrote on Twitter. "David was a really good guy, [a] great team-mate and hugely popular in the dressing room. Our condolences [go out] to all his family."

Another former Reds team-mate, David Fairclough, also paid tribute, adding: "So sad to hear my great friend David Johnson has passed away today. [We] shared so many great moments and memories."

Liverpool themselves also posted a note of condolence, stating: "The thoughts of everyone at the club are with David’s family and friends at this very sad time."

Johnson, who started his career at Merseyside rivals Everton before a move to Ipswich Town, made his England debut in 1975 against Wales, scoring a brace in a 2-2 draw.

Five years later, he won his eighth and final cap in the Three Lions' Euro 1980 opener against Belgium, playing no further part in the tournament as his team fell short in Group 2.

Eric Dier is "grateful" to be back in the England squad for the World Cup after fearing he may never play for the Three Lions again following his Euro 2020 omission.

Tottenham defender Dier was a notable absentee from Gareth Southgate's side for the coronavirus-delayed European Championship in 2021, where England lost in the final to Italy on penalties.

The likes of Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady were preferred at the back by Southgate, though Dier has returned to the fold for Qatar.

England face Iran in Monday's Group B opener and Dier acknowledged he thought the chance to represent his country at a major tournament may never come again.

"I'd be lying if I said that didn't cross my mind [that I might not be in England contention again]," the 28-year-old said. 

"When I missed out on the Euro 2020 squad that was one of the worst moments of my career.

"I'm grateful to be here now. I'm very proud of myself how I managed to fight my way back in."

Dier has been ever-present for Tottenham in the Premier League this season, pinpointing his "special" coach Antonio Conte as the reason for his upturn in form.

"Last season after Antonio Conte arrived that was some of the best football I've played – and it has carried into this season," he added.

"I'm enjoying every minute of working with him. He's a special manager."

The 32 nations competing at the 2022 World Cup face an unprecedented situation, with the world's elite leagues pausing for a mid-season break to allow their stars to compete for glory in the Middle East.

"It's a unique situation for us. In some ways it's quite nice. Maybe not for the coaches and managers - it's not ideal [for them]," Dier continued. 

"From a player's point of view, the quick turnaround is nice. We're here and just getting straight into it. I'm quite impatient. There are other aspects that aren't so great with injuries when they wouldn't usually have missed a tournament. I'm very excited to start."

Host nation Qatar has also come under widespread criticism amid concerns over their human rights record in a country where same-sex relationships are prohibited.

England manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane among a host of other senior figures competing at the World Cup have vowed to speak out, though Dier suggested players have been left in a difficult situation.

"It's extremely difficult for us as players. We know these topics are going to be addressed - it's a difficult situation," the centre-back said.

"When the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010, I was 16 at the time. It's difficult for me to talk on it. As players, we have no say on where we play.

"Those decisions are made by people way above us. We're the ones who end up sitting here having to answer these questions.

"I carry the values I've been given by my family and those who educated me. We've been here a very short time. For me, it's important to live this experience. At that point, I'll have a better idea of what to say on it.

"A lot of things that are disappointing have happened. As a team we carry values wherever we go – but we respect everywhere we go."

The UK and Ireland's joint bid to host Euro 2028 has been submitted to UEFA, with 14 venues under consideration to host games at the tournament.

Football associations of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland lodged an expression of interest in hosting the event in March, pledging to organise an "unrivalled" tournament.

Turkey, Italy and Russia have all previously professed their willingness to host the European Championships in either 2028 or 2032, with the latter of the trio doing so despite being banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Should the joint United Kingdom and Ireland bid triumph, games could be staged at nine stadiums in England, two in the Republic of Ireland, and one in each of the other three countries involved.

A joint statement from the five nations' football associations read: "The UK and Ireland bid to host UEFA Euro 2028 has today submitted our preliminary bid dossier – a key moment in UEFA's campaign process.

"The bid sets out our clear and compelling vision for UEFA Euro 2028: 'Football for all. Football for good. Football for the future'.

"Key to this vision is a commitment to diversity, social purpose and innovation in delivering an outstanding UEFA Euro 2028 that will create unforgettable memories in sold-out, iconic stadia in famous football cities known throughout the world.

"The UK and Ireland's track record of hosting successful major sporting events over many decades means we have the expertise and experience to take this world-class tournament to new heights.

"Our stadia concept includes a proposed shortlist of 14 venues in famous sporting cities known throughout the world, including destinations that are home to clubs with great European football history and heritage. 

"The plan ensures that all our proposed cities and stadia are connected by direct, quick and sustainable travel links and accommodation that will provide an unrivalled experience for teams and fans."

Villa Park, the London Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Wembley Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, St James' Park, the Stadium of Light, Old Trafford and Everton's planned new home are the nine English venues proposed by the associations.

They are joined on the shortlist by Croke Park, the AVIVA Stadium, Casement Park, Hampden Park and the Millennium Stadium.

The UK and Ireland initially explored the possibility of bidding to host the 2030 World Cup before switching focus in an effort to secure the UEFA competition.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini is excited by the prospect of facing England in Euro 2024 qualifying, declaring "it will be nice to meet again".

England and Italy were drawn alongside Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta in a challenging qualification group on Sunday, from which the top two will qualify automatically for the tournament in Germany.

The duo met as recently as last month, when Giacomo Raspadori's goal condemned England to relegation from the top tier of the Nations League, while Mancini also led the Azzurri to victory over the Three Lions in last year's Euro 2020 final. 

England's dismal Nations League campaign meant they – alongside world champions France – were in pot two for the draw in Frankfurt.

Although Mancini claims he expected Italy to land one of those two giants, he remains content with the draw and is looking forward to meeting Gareth Southgate's men.

"I was sure we would have one between England and France, but that's okay too," Mancini told Rai Sport after the draw.

"It's a group of five, it's doable. But there won't be simple games, they'll all have to be played. 

"It will certainly be beautiful with England, with Southgate we know each other and if it continues like this we are pretty good, I don't know if he agrees. 

"By now this challenge is a classic and, although we faced each other 20 days ago, it will be nice to meet again."

While Italy have happy memories of their recent games against England, remaining unbeaten in their last six head-to-head meetings, the same cannot be said about another of their opponents.

North Macedonia clinched a stunning win over Italy in the World Cup play-offs in March, ensuring the Azzurri missed out on a second consecutive edition of the tournament.

Mancini is urging caution ahead of that reunion, adding: "It's one of those games that happen every now and then. As we saw in Palermo, all matches must be played, even the simplest ones."

The Azzurri boss was also pleased to be drawn alongside Ukraine, declaring: "There will be some emotion... but Ukraine is still a good national team."

Gareth Southgate declared England must improve on their poor record against Italy after the two nations were drawn together in a "tough" Euro 2024 qualification group.

The teams faced each other in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium last year, with Italy emerging victorious on penalties to win their first European Championship trophy since 1968 and deny England their first major title in 55 years.

The sides also met twice in the recent Nations League campaign, playing out a goalless draw at Molineux in June before Giacomo Raspadori gave Italy a 1-0 triumph in the return fixture at San Siro in September.

The Three Lions have not beaten Italy in six attempts since a 2-1 victory in 2012, and Southgate says that run needs to end.

"England's record against Italy generally is not very good," Southgate told Sky Sports. "So we've got to improve that.

"There's not too many surprises, they've changed the team a lot for all of those different matches.

"We know the quality they have, we know the depth that they have."

England and Italy have been drawn in Group C alongside Ukraine, Malta and North Macedonia, the latter of whom knocked the Azzurri out of the World Cup play-offs earlier this year, preventing the European champions from making it to Qatar.

Southgate acknowledged the overall difficulty of the group, adding: "It's clearly a tough draw, given the quality of the opposition.

"But we've had draws in qualification that have probably been a little bit more comfortable than that, although I'd have to say Poland and Hungary in the last qualifying group was particularly tough as well, so we're used to that.

"The draws are what they are, it's how you perform on the day."

England have the opportunity to gain a measure of revenge on Italy for their Euro 2020 final defeat after the two nations were drawn together in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in London on July 11, 2021 to win their first European Championship title since 1968.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions had opened the scoring through Luke Shaw, but the Azzurri levelled via Leonardo Bonucci.

And spot-kick misses by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka proved costly for England, who had hoped to win a first major title in 55 years.

The two will tussle again – twice – on the road to Germany 2024 after being drawn together in qualifying Group C in Sunday's ceremony, which was held in Frankfurt.

Nevertheless, both teams will still expect to reach the finals given the top two in each group progress to the tournament - joining them will be Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.

It was North Macedonia who knocked Italy out of the World Cup qualifying play-offs earlier this year.

Group B is another standout after the Netherlands were drawn alongside reigning world champions France in a pool that also contains Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar.

Spain will be confident of plotting a way through Group A, which also contains Scotland, Norway, Georgia and Cyprus, though Belgium may face a slightly sterner examination after being grouped with Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Estonia.

Qualifying is set to begin in March 2023 and conclude eight months later, with the winners and runners-up of each group going straight through to the tournament.

The remaining three teams will be decided in March 2024 via a play-off section, which will be made up of 12 group winners from the 2022-23 Nations League.

If a Nations League section winner has already qualified for Euro 2024, their play-off place will pass to the next best-ranked country from the same league.


Draw in full:

Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar
Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia
Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino
Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra
Group J: Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the organisation will not repeat a pan-continental staging of the European Championship following Euro 2020, but has not ruled out further successful joint bids in the future.

Last year's rescheduled tournament, intended to celebrate its 60th anniversary, was beset by logistical difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2024 tournament will revert to a single nation host in Germany, but the 2028 edition could once again see multiple hosts, with a British Isles bid up against Turkey for duties.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Ceferin confirmed there will be no continent-spanning events in future, but he is not opposed to shared hosting between smaller neighbour nations.

"We are not considering such Euro tournaments in 10-11 countries, that was complicated enough," he stated. "With [the pandemic], it was even more complicated.

"With respect to sporting considerations, Switzerland played one game in Rome and then in Baku, and some teams played at home all the time.

"Those who did not travel and played at home ended up in the final. We don't like that concept at all.

"It was a good idea. It was the 60th anniversary of the Euros, some Pan-European friendship... These were the elements of that idea.

"I'm not saying that the idea was bad. But my feeling is that Euros should take place in one or two countries if we're talking about smaller countries."

Cristiano Ronaldo intends to continue with Portugal until Euro 2024, shutting down any notion the 2022 World Cup could be his last major international tournament.

The veteran attacker has struggled for form this season at club level with Manchester United, dropped by Erik ten Hag and mostly kept on the sidelines by a positive upturn in results.

But his place in Fernando Santos' Portugal squad has never been in doubt, with the 37-year-old leading his country in their Nations League matches with the Czech Republic and Spain this week.

Speaking at the Quinas de Ouro awards, where he was feted, Ronaldo revealed his ambitions to remain with the national set-up for another major tournament cycle, taking him through to the age of 39.

"I hope to be a part of the national team for a few more years," he stated. "I still have the motivation, and my ambition is high.

"My path here is not over. We have many quality youngsters. I will be at the World Cup, and I want to be at the European Championship, too.

"It has been a long road and I want to take the opportunity to say that the road is not over yet. You'll still have to put up with me for a little while longer!"

Ronaldo's only major honour at international level came at Euro 2016, albeit he missed most of the final victory over France following an injury.

Portugal will hope for a successful tournament in Qatar, where they are the top-seeded nation in Group H, alongside Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.

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