UEFA has rejected a request for Germany to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Wednesday's Euro 2020 clash with Hungary because of political reasons.

Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter said on Sunday that he has asked UEFA for permission to illuminate the stadium in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Reiter made the request after Hungary passed a law that prohibits the sharing of content in schools that could be deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.

However, while UEFA understands the gesture, European football's governing body has proposed alternative dates for the stadium to be lit up, rather than on the day of the Hungary game.

"Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today," read a UEFA statement on Tuesday.

"Discriminatory behaviour has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.

"However UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request.

"UEFA has nevertheless proposed to the city of Munich to illuminate the stadium with the rainbow colours on either 28 June – the Christopher Street Liberation Day – or between 3 and 9 July which is the Christopher Street Day week in Munich."

Christopher Street Day is an annual European LGBTQ+ celebration and demonstration held in various cities across Europe for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

UEFA last week opened an investigation into Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wearing a rainbow-coloured captain's armband in his side's opening two Euro 2020 fixtures against France and Portugal.

But amid widespread criticism, the probe was halted after the governing body deemed it "a good cause".

UEFA has launched an investigation into "potential discriminatory incidents" during Hungary's opening two games at Euro 2020.

Budapest is one of the host cities for the tournament and Hungary's 3-0 defeat to Portugal and 1-1 draw against France in Group F each took place at the Puskas Arena.

During the Portugal game, images of a banner among the home supporters in the stands reading "ANTI LMBTQ" – referring to the Hungarian language abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer – circulated on social media. The matter was reported to UEFA by anti-discrimination group Fare.

Before Sunday's game with France, some Hungary fans took part in a pre-match march in Budapest and unveiled a banner opposing the act of kneeling before matches, a peaceful anti-racism protest in which several teams have participated.

Given the latter incident took place outside the stadium, it does not fall under UEFA's jurisdiction.

However, a statement issued by European football's governing body said it was investigating possible acts of discrimination inside the Puskas Arena from both matches.

The statement read: "In accordance with article 31(4) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations, a UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential discriminatory incidents which occurred in the Puskas Arena, Budapest, during the 2020 European Championship group stage matches between the national teams of Hungary and Portugal on 15 June 2021 and between the national teams of Hungary and France played on 19 June 2021.

"Information on this matter will be made available in due course."

The incidents occurred within a highly-charged atmosphere in Hungarian politics at present, in relation to the agenda of prime minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government.

Orban's Fidesz party promotes a Christian-conservative policy platform and last week passed legislation banning schools from activities deemed to promote homosexuality or gender reassignment.

The prime minister has also spoken out about "this kneeling business", claiming the act is one of "provocation" because Hungary does not have a history of slavery.

"If you're a guest in a country then understand its culture and do not provoke it," Orban told a news conference. "Do not provoke the host.

"We can only see this gesture system from our cultural vantage point as unintelligible, as provocation."

A report by The Times on Friday identified Budapest as a possible alternative host to Wembley for the final stages of Euro 2020, amid apparent UEFA concerns regarding the need for overseas attendees to quarantine in line with the UK's COVID-19 restrictions.

UEFA said it was "confident" the semi-finals and final would still take place at England's national stadium as it continued to discuss with the UK government "a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean [fans'] stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only".

UEFA added that a "contingency plan" was in place if an agreement cannot be reached, although it did not specify Budapest or any other alternative venue.

Didier Deschamps praised Hungary for producing "the match of their lives" in Saturday's Euro 2020 clash and says France must be satisfied with the 1-1 draw at Puskas Arena.

Attila Fiola's strike just before half-time put the hosts, who were backed by a raucous crowd of around 61,000 spectators, on course for a famous European Championship victory.

France squandered a number of chances before that opening goal and hit the post through substitute Ousmane Dembele, but they did eventually find a way through.

A long pass from Hugo Lloris was met by Kylian Mbappe, who teed up Antoine Griezmann with the help of a scuffed Willi Orban clearance for his strike partner to fire home.

France would have booked a place in the knockout stages with a victory, but their failure to find a winner means that the world champions are left waiting on their last-16 spot.

Hungary frustrated Portugal before ultimately losing 3-0 earlier this week and Deschamps insists there is no shame in being held by a side ranked 37th in the world.

"Hungary put on the match of their lives. Good for them," Deschamps told beIN SPORTS. 

"We had chances in the first half and found ourselves behind to their only opportunity. They had a lot of support and that clearly gave them strength.

"They defended really well, as they did against Portugal until late on. It's a point. It's not what we hoped for but given the context, we will take it anyway."

France beat Germany 1-0 in their opening Group F game and still have Portugal to face in the final round of fixtures next week.

"It is an important point today because it leaves the cards in our hands for the last game," Deschamps added.

"There are things to improve and I knew we were not going to crush every team, even after playing a good game and beating Germany.

"Our objective is to qualify for the next round and we've still got a bit of leeway with our four points, even though we'd have liked to come out of this game with six."

Asked if changes will be made for that showdown with fellow heavyweights and reigning European champions Portugal, Deschamps gave little away.

"Maybe," he said. "The next game will be important. I might shake things up as fresh legs can be important. With the temperature as high as it was today, it was very difficult."

Dembele looked lively after being brought on shortly before the hour mark, but he was replaced by Thomas Lemar just 30 minutes later.

He was holding the back of his leg when leaving the field and Deschamps has confirmed the Barcelona forward sustained another injury.

"It's a blow to his tendon, behind the knee," Deschamps said at his post-match news conference. "We will have to check, but he was in enough discomfort to come off."

France are unbeaten in nine matches at major tournaments, although Saturday's draw ended their five-match winning run at such competitions.

It is the first time Hungary have avoided defeat to France in any competition since May 1976, ending a five-game losing run against Les Bleus.

The Magyars are still in with a shot of advancing from Group F with a trip to Germany to come and head coach Marco Rossi is delighted by the effort put in by his players so far.

"I can only thank the team," Rossi told M4 Sport. "They played an exceedingly good tactical match and carried out their business with the correct amount of bravery and heart.

"Nowadays, many coaches are convinced that the team wins because of the coach's tactics. They're wrong. The players are always the lead characters. Today they performed.

"We knew there would be difficult moments during the match, when things didn't go as we wanted, but we're working to cope with those. 

"We possess players who are committed and work hard every day to improve themselves. We have our limits, but it really augurs well for the future."

Antoine Griezmann admits playing in front of a full stadium in sweltering conditions affected France in their surprise 1-1 Euro 2020 draw with Hungary on Saturday.

Barcelona forward Griezmann equalised 24 minutes from time in Budapest to cancel out Attila Fiola's first-half opener and salvage Les Blues a point in the Group F match.

Hungary were spurred on by a raucous crowd, with around 61,000 spectators in attendance thanks to an easing of coronavirus restrictions in the Hungarian capital.

France had to settle for a point that leaves them waiting on a place in the last 16 and Griezmann puts his side's disjointed display down to a couple of factors.

"It was a difficult match for us," he told beIN SPORTS. "With the fans here in a full stadium, we lost our normal habits. We struggled to get along and it was also super-hot.

"We got caught out at the back and didn't know how to find each other. We didn't know how to put away our chances in the first half.

"We know that we have players on the bench to make the difference at any time. We have to continue to work hard and improve."

Griezmann's goal was his seventh at the Euros, putting him behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (11) and Michel Platini (nine) in the list of the competition's all-time top scorers.

That strike did at least rescue France a point that moves them to the top of Group F ahead of Germany's clash with Portugal – Les Blues' next opponents – in Munich.

France were never quite at their best in the group stage before going on to win the 2018 World Cup, and Griezmann is confident that his side will improve as Euro 2020 goes on.

"It reminds me a little of the World Cup when we were made to suffer in the group stage," he told TF1. "We will have to quickly recover and go again against Portugal. 

"We always knew it would be complicated in the heat and noise in the stands. I have full confidence in the group."

Fiola's goal was the first France had conceded in 527 minutes, but they battled back to make it nine matches without defeat at major tournaments.

Skipper Hugo Lloris is staying positive after the draw with Hungary, which ends a run of five successive wins in all competitions.

"We gave 100 per cent to get the draw today, even if that is not the result we wanted," he told TF1. "We have to be content with the scoreline.

"The opposition made the most of their chance and were well organised, helped by their supporters. We're disappointed but you have to stay positive."

Asked if the heat played a part as well as the deafening home crowd, Lloris said: "That plays a part, but conceding a goal just before half-time also didn't help us.

"If we had taken the lead it would have changed the dynamics. But we came back into the game and have to be satisfied and recover for the next match."

World champions France were unable to confirm their place in the Euro 2020 knockout stages as they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Hungary amid a raucous atmosphere in Budapest.

Hungary frustrated Portugal for 84 minutes before their defence was breached in their opening game and they gave France an almighty scare in Saturday's clash in front of a deafening home crowd, which saw them rewarded with a point.

After squandering a few big chances, France's run of 527 minutes without conceding was ended by Attila Fiola's goal just before half-time at the packed Puskas Arena.

Antoine Griezmann fired in a leveller with 66 minutes played, but Les Blues – who saw a late penalty appeal dismissed – could not find a winning goal and had to settle for a point that leaves them waiting on their place in the last 16.

Peter Gulacsi made a brilliant save after 14 minutes to keep out Griezmann from close range, but the offside flag likely would have denied the forward had he scored.

Kylian Mbappe then sent a free header spinning wide after being picked out by Lucas Digne and Karim Benzema miscued off target from an even bigger chance soon after.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt France as Fiola was played in behind down the left after a one-two with Roland Sallai and coolly converted past Hugo Lloris.

The introduction of Ousmane Dembele around the hour mark gave France a spark and the Barcelona forward struck the outside of the post two minutes after coming on.

France's pressure told seven minutes later when Mbappe – spotted by a Lloris pass – teed up Griezmann with the help of a scuffed Willi Orban clearance for a simple finish.

Mbappe guided a Griezmann delivery into the side netting and Gulacsi was alert to Mbappe's next attempt as France, whose appeals for a stoppage-time spot-kick following some shirt grabbing at a set-piece were denied, failed to find a winner.

Didier Deschamps anticipates Hungary presenting world champions France with a dangerous test as Les Bleus look to seal their place in the last 16 of Euro 2020.

France were not at their best in an entertaining 1-0 win over Germany, but the fact only the offside flag prevented their victory from being more emphatic in a game where they clearly had several other gears sent an ominous message to the other contenders for the title.

But they have work to do to win Group F, from which they will progress should they beat Hungary, with Portugal having shown their mettle with a late show against the same opposition in Budapest to prevail 3-0.

Yet Deschamps was impressed by what he saw from the minnows of the group prior to Raphael Guerreiro's 84th-minute opener, which preceded a Cristiano Ronaldo brace, and is expecting his side to receive a stern examination in front of a crowd of 65,000.

"Obviously the support of fans for a home side is very important, this helped them [Hungary] against Portugal because let's not forget up to 80th minute it was 0-0," he told a media conference. 

"They actually were the first to hit the back of the net but unfortunately the goal was disallowed.

"They're a highly efficient team, well structured, they have an Italian coach and I think this has a lot to do with it. Hungary will be playing at home, therefore I'm expecting them to be just as dangerous as they were against Portugal."

Marco Rossi is the man tasked with guiding Hungary to what would be one of the biggest upsets in European Championship history, having accepted blame for the margin of defeat against Portugal.

"We came apart at the seams," said Rossi. "That was my fault. I made too many changes that didn't work.

"We were trailing and we needed to do something. I did that and clearly I got it wrong. Occasionally you can hold your hands up and saw you made a mistake."

France will have full-backs Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard available in Budapest. Hernandez had what Deschamps described as "a niggle" while Pavard suffered a head injury in the win over Germany.

Antoine Griezmann is in line to feature in a record 50th consecutive game for France and facing the Barcelona star, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, Hungary can ill-afford to have their structure come apart once more.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Hungary - Gergo Lovrencsics

Lovrencsics will look to test Hernandez's fitness if he retains his place on the right flank after providing a threat from that side against Portugal.

He produced two good open play crosses against Portugal and was one of just three Hungary players to create a chance in that defeat.

Should the play become stretched, Lovrencsics may be the player to whom Hungary turn to take advantage.

France - Adrien Rabiot

While it is tough to take your eyes off Mbappe and Co. up front, Rabiot's display against Germany was worthy of greater attention.

The midfielder had the highest passing accuracy of any player on the France team (93 per cent) and was tied with Pavard (89.5%) for the best passing accuracy in the opposition half.

He also did his fair share of work in defence. Rabiot made three interceptions, tied with Paul Pogba for the most among France players, while only the Manchester United star (12) won possession more times than the Juventus man (9).

In what may develop into a high-octane match in front of a vociferous crowd, Rabiot's composure and strengths as a box-to-box midfielder could be pivotal for France.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- France have won each of their last five matches against Hungary (12 goals, 3 against), a run that started with their 3-1 group stage victory at the 1978 World Cup. They had only won three of their previous 17 games against Hungary (D2 L12).

- Les Bleus have beaten Hungary only once in their eight games played on Hungarian soil (D1 L6), that was in March 1990 at Budapest's Nepstadion (3-1, including a brace from Eric Cantona).

- France have won their last five matches in all competitions, doing so without conceding a single goal. They haven't won six games in a row since June 2016, when the final two games in the run were their opening two matches of Euro 2016.

- Going into MD2, Hungary have conceded more goals at the last two European Championships combined than anyone else, letting in 11 goals in five matches, including seven in their last two games alone (0-4 vs Belgium at Euro 2016, 0-3 vs Portugal at Euro 2020).

- Only Finland (1) and Turkey (3) had fewer shots on MD1 of EURO 2020 than France (4), while only opponents Hungary (0.18) and Russia (0.26) have posted a lower Expected Goal (xG) total than the French (0.28).

- During 2021, only Italy (6) have kept more clean sheets among European nations than France (5), who have kept a clean sheet in their last five matches in all competitions. They last kept six in a row between March and September 2007 under Raymond Domenech.

- Benzema – who is 10th on the list of all-time top scorers for the French national team with 27 goals – has never scored a goal at the Euros in seven previous appearances. Since 1980, his 28 efforts at goal without scoring in the competition are the third-most of any player, behind Spain's Andres Iniesta (34) and the Netherlands' Clarence Seedorf (33).

Didier Deschamps has hailed Antoine Griezmann as "one of the greatest players of all time" ahead of France's Euro 2020 encounter with Hungary on Saturday.

Griezmann is fourth on the list of Les Bleus' all-time leading goalscorers with 37 from 92 appearances.

The Barcelona forward was the leading scorer with six goals in the last European Championship and only Harry Kane bettered his tally of four when France won the World Cup in Russia three years ago.

Griezmann will have played in a record-extending 50 consecutive France games when he features in Budapest, where France can secure their place in the last 16 after beating Germany 1-0 in their opening match.

France boss Deschamps lavished praise on the former Atletico Madrid man for the all-round contribution he makes for the tournament favourites.

"Above and beyond the fact he's playing consecutive games, which is wonderful for him, he may not be 20 but he takes very good care of himself, he's a professional and managed to avoid different injuries he could have had," Deschamps said in a media conference on Friday.

"The statistics speak for themselves, you can see the influence he has for the French national team through the goals he has scored and through his assists.

"Add to that the capacity to change games and get stuck in and defend when we don't have the ball. He's one of the greatest players of all time in Europe and worldwide."

Deschamps added: "He is one of our technical leaders. He is a game changer with the way he moves, the control he has with the ball and the goals he is capable of scoring, and his assists. He is an offensive player, a very creative player and has this ability to think outside the box. 

"That's something he has proven to us time and again, it's remarkable to watch even though he's happy to get back and defend. Maybe he does that a little bit too much.

"I'm not going to take this away from him. It is completely natural for him and important to our balance. This doesn't prevent him from being a huge player and from having a huge presence on the pitch with regards to his efficiency up front."

Deschamps confirmed that full-back Benjamin Pavard will be fit to play despite suffering a blow to the head in the victory over Germany.

Cristiano Ronaldo thanked his Portugal team-mates for helping him to surpass Michel Platini as the European Championship's outright all-time record goalscorer with his double against Hungary.

The 36-year-old scored a penalty late on in Tuesday's Group F clash to move one in front of Platini – who netted all nine of his goals in the 1984 edition – at the top of the competition's scoring charts.

He added to his tally in added time as Portugal, who opened the scoring through Raphael Guerreiro's 84th-minute strike in Budapest, became the first team in the history of the Euros to score three goals in the final 10 minutes of a game.

Ronaldo is also the first man to play and score in five separate European Championships and now has an even greater record in sight, the Juventus forward just three shy of Ali Daei's world record of 109 international goals.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner will have an opportunity to close in on Daei's impressive tally when Portugal take on Germany in Munich in their next group outing on Saturday.

Speaking after Portugal's late win against Hungary in front of around 61,000 spectators – the most at any game at this year's tournament – Ronaldo said: "It was important to win. It was a difficult game. 

"Hungary defended very well for 90 minutes. We managed to score three goals and I am very grateful to the team for helping me to score twice and collect the man of the match award. 

"It was essential to go in with the right foot to give confidence. Now we have to just keep going, keep going. We will look to win the next game."

 

It looked like being a day of frustration for reigning European champions Portugal before a late flurry of goals gave them their joint-record margin of victory at the Euros, alongside 3-0 wins against Croatia in 1996 and Germany in 2000.

Head coach Fernando Santos was pleased with the way his side adapted to overcome their stubborn opponents as Portugal won their first game at a major tournament for the first time in six attempts.

"They kept putting two or three players on top of Cristiano," he told SIC Noticias. "Our strategy was not to cross, cross, cross. We had to look for different paths and we scored a goal, then Hungary started opening up some space.

"If we had scored earlier it might have been easier for us. We had chances to score but didn't, which caused a small period of anxiety, though we recovered well in the end by scoring the goals.

"It was a case of making Ronaldo more open because Guerreiro was getting stuck. Now we have two important games to come and we will try our best to get through this stage."

Hungary came within six minutes of taking a point off Portugal, but they are now winless in their past four games at the European Championship and have matches against France and Germany to come in an extremely tough group.

"I'm disappointed with the result," Hungary coach Marco Rossi said at his post-match news conference. "There wasn't much difference between the two teams. We didn't have luck today. 

"But we have to show that we're men. We are representing Hungary and we have two more equally difficult games ahead of us.

"We were happy with the game until the 83rd minute, but then the three goals came. Maybe it was my fault for taking too much risk. I'm not sad about the performance, but disappointed with the result."

It was all looking rather good for Hungary. The Magyars, who held Portugal to gripping 3-3 draw five years ago, looked to be doing something similar in their Euro 2020 opener. Just without the goals.

But Portugal, inspired by a hint of fortune, exploded into life and Cristiano Ronaldo took centre stage to show the doubters just how decisive he can be.

Fernando Santos' men sealed a 3-0 win with all of their goals coming from the 84th minute onwards, becoming the first side in European Championship history to net three times in the final 10 minutes of a game.

Raphael Guerreiro got things started, his effort taking a massive deflection of Willi Orban to finally end the resistance of Hungary, who themselves had a goal disallowed for offside only a few minutes earlier, and then Ronaldo took over.

With lively substitute Rafa Silva sent tumbling in the box by Orban, whose evening quickly descended into farce, Ronaldo stepped up to smashed the penalty beyond Peter Gulacsi in the Hungary goal.

He then rounded off a brilliant passing move with some outrageous play before tucking in Portugal's third – but that was just the tip of the iceberg on what was a momentous night for the Selecao's greatest ever player.

 

From frustration to flawless

Ronaldo flapped his arms around in dismay. Yes, you can picture it – you've seen it countless times before.

The game was just five minutes old when the Juventus superstar was screaming at Diogo Jota, who had opted for a 20-yard shot instead of slipping Ronaldo – in masses of space to his left – into the penalty area.

Given Ronaldo almost doubled up as Fernando Santos' assistant after being injured in the 2016 final, you had to wonder whether he would demand Jota be withdrawn immediately.

As it was, Jota stayed on and his presence again seemed a distraction just before half-time when he dangled a leg near Bruno Fernandes' smashed delivery, with Ronaldo only able to hammer over from a few yards out.

He didn't have another shot until the 87th minute – that's how quiet he was generally kept by Hungary's defence – but that next effort proved a historic one. As Ronaldo confidently drove his penalty past Gulacsi, he surpassed Michel Platini as the all-time leading scorer in the European Championship with 10 goals.

 

While the Frenchman got all nine of his in one tournament, Euro '84, and in just five games, Ronaldo has needed a little longer – this was his 22nd appearance.

But if reaching such a milestone with a penalty (we see you, users of the 'Penaldo' nickname...) wasn't going to be satisfying enough, he duly extended his new record with a lovely goal.

Ronaldo exchanged a glorious one-two with Rafa Silva, skilfully rounded Gulacsi and then tapped home – it was the kind of goal that could draw a hearty chuckle from anyone, so good was the build-up and subsequent composure from the veteran forward.

All 11 of his Euros goals have been from inside the box, though the record-breaker was actually his first successful penalty. His brace here means he now has four goals in the final 15 minutes of games, more than in any other period of matches.

His second goal also took a record from Andriy Shevchenko, as it made Ronaldo the oldest player to score twice in a Euros match.

 

More records on the way?

Don't expect this to be the last we hear from Ronaldo at this tournament.

More historic achievements and records are just a matter of a few goals away, and given his ruthless impact at the end on Tuesday, few would bet against him picking up where he left off next time.

Granted, Germany and France should prove sterner opposition than Hungary, but a player close to such records can be fancied to deliver the good against anyone.

His next landmark in sight is Miroslav Klose's haul of 19 in the World Cup and Euros – no European player has netted more at those tournaments, and Ronaldo is now just one behind him thanks to this brace.

But more importantly than that is Ali Daei's world record international haul of 109.

With two here, Ronaldo is now just three behind the former Iran striker, whose record looked insurmountable after his retirement in 2006.

It's only really been since he turned 30 that Ronaldo has looked likely to reach or surpass Daei. After all, his record since the start of 2016 for Portugal is 51 goals in 53 matches.

Perhaps we should have learned our lesson from watching Ronaldo over the years, however.. No goalscoring milestone is beyond him, it seems.

Cristiano Ronaldo made European Championship history on two fronts as Portugal staged a late show to begin their campaign with a 3-0 win over Hungary.

Also pitted against world champions France and Germany in the toughest group of the tournament, hitting the ground was viewed as key for Fernando Santos' side.

It looked as if they would fail to do that in front of over 60,000 fans in Budapest, but Raphael Guerreiro's deflected strike finally gave them the lead six minutes from time.

And then Ronaldo – who became the first man to play in five different Euros – took centre stage as he broke the tournament goalscoring record with his 10th goal in the competition proper, emphatically dispatching a penalty after Willi Orban had brought down Rafa Silva.

There was a final flourish from the Juventus star, who capped a wonderful move to take his tally to 11 in the second minute of stoppage time.

Cristiano Ronaldo wants defending champions Portugal to make a statement in their Group F opener against Hungary as he prepares to make history at Euro 2020.

Ronaldo will become the first player to feature in five European Championships in front of a crowd of around 65,000 at the Puskas Arena on Tuesday,

The legendary Juventus forward needs only one goal to be the outright leading goalscorer in the competition, as he is currently level with Michel Platini with nine.

Portugal captain Ronaldo is also only one appearance shy of going out on his own as the European player with the most appearances at major tournaments - currently sharing a record of 38 with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The 36-year-old says retaining the trophy is at the forefront of his mind and knows Portugal must make a strong start in Budapest, with France and Germany their other opponents in such a tough group.

He said: "I'm not overwhelmed. It's a good record but more important than this is to win back-to-back European Championships. The team is quite well and working great.

"Since our first training sessions, the team has been great and we are all ready. Tomorrow I hope we can start on the right foot.

"It's important that we start with a victory, the crowd will be on their side, but it's good to play in front of a crowd. We are going to enjoy this and, as I said, the team is ready."

Hungary led Portugal three times in a 3-3 draw at Euro 2016, Ronaldo scoring a second-half brace in a thriller.

The holders, who lost Joao Cancelo for the tournament due to a positive coronavirus test and replaced him with Diogo Dalot, are unbeaten in 13 games against Hungary - winning nine and drawing four.

Hungary should not be short of confidence, though, as they come into the tournament without being beaten in nine competitive matches.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Hungary – Willi Orban

Centre-back Willi Orban was Hungary's top scorer in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, with all three of his goals coming from set-pieces.

Among defenders, only Mats Hummels (129 for Borussia Dortmund) won more aerial duels than Orban's 108 for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga last season.

Portugal – Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes can have a huge say in whether Portugal retain the title.

The Manchester United midfielder created more goalscoring chances than any other Premier League player with 95 last season. He also scored twice and laid a goal for Ronaldo in Portugal's final warm-up game, a 4-0 rout of Israel.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Portugal are bidding to become the second team to win back-to-back, a feat also achieved by Spain in 2008 and 2021.
- Hungary were unbeaten in the group stages in their last appearance at the European Championship (W1 D2 in 2016).
- Portugal have failed to win their opening game in the past five major tournaments, drawing three times and losing twice. Their last opening game victory was at Euro 2008 against Turkey (2-0).
- The defending champions are the only team to reach the knockout stages of the European Championship in each of the previous six editions.

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo insists his sole focus is on Euro 2020 and reports of interest from rival clubs are causing him no "sleepless nights".

Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juve in 2019, but the move has not worked out quite as planned.

Although the Bianconeri won the Serie A title for a ninth successive season in the forward's first campaign, they lost their crown to Inter this term and scraped Champions League qualification.

Success in Europe's premier club competition, which Ronaldo won five times with Manchester United and Madrid, continues to evade the Turin giants.

A frustrating season ended with Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Andrea Pirlo, and there has been speculation Ronaldo could follow his coach out of the door.

Madrid, United and Paris Saint-Germain have been credited with an interest in a player who continues to deliver superb individual results.

Ronaldo's 29 goals in 2020-21 won the Capocannoniere, having previously also been the top scorer in the Premier League and LaLiga.

Since joining Juve, only Robert Lewandowski (103) has scored more goals in all competitions than Ronaldo's 73 among players in Europe's top five leagues.

The 36-year-old's 83 goal involvements rank fourth behind Lewandowski (121), Lionel Messi (106) and Kylian Mbappe (97).

Those returns would surely interest a host of clubs, but Ronaldo is not looking any further ahead than the Euros, with Portugal starting their title defence against Hungary on Tuesday.

"I've been playing at the highest level for many years. This doesn't faze me at all," Ronaldo said ahead of the Hungary game.

"If I were starting out, if I were 18 or 19, I'd have some sleepless nights. But I'm 36 years old and whatever comes will be for the best

"Regardless of staying in Juve or being transferred, the crucial thing is the Euros. For me, it's my fifth Euros, but it's like my first. I want to start on the right foot and we want to play a good match."

 

Ronaldo holds the record for the most games (21), most goals (nine, tied with Michel Platini) and most tournaments with at least one goal (four) at the European Championship.

With 104 international goals, he is also closing on Ali Daei's benchmark of 109.

Adding to that tally in the group stage of Euro 2020 will be tough, though, with Portugal drawn into a pool with Hungary, France and Germany. They have not won their opening game at a tournament since Euro 2008.

But Ronaldo is confident his side are ready, explaining: "If you tell me that we're going to lose tomorrow and win the Euros, that's my choice.

"But I think the team is ready, physically and emotionally. Our players are young, but that doesn't prevent us from dreaming. I'm sure we will have a great tournament and I know, for sure, all the players are ready."

Only Spain, in 2008 and 2012, have previously won back-to-back European Championships.

"We are not the same team as we were in 2016," Ronaldo added. "This is a younger team, a team with great potential and only by playing will we know if we are better or worse than 2016.

"On a personal level, I'm not the same player I was 18 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago. We keep adjusting. The most intelligent thing about a football player is the ability to adjust.

"I'm more mature. If a player wants to play for many years, he needs to know how to adjust and adapt.

"The numbers speak for themselves; from 18 to 36, I've learned to adapt regardless of winning silverware.

"On a personal level, I've always been able to win. The same on a collective level, too. I think I've adjusted throughout my career."

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