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Ronaldo setting records as he leads Portugal squad into European Championship


In what has been a record-setting career, another mark awaits Cristiano Ronaldo as he leads Portugal into UEFA Euro 2024.

Ronaldo, who was named to Portugal’s 26-man squad for the tournament on Tuesday, is set to appear in his sixth European Championship, the most by any player in the history of the competition.

The 39-year-old striker is the tournament’s all-time leading scorer with 14 goals across the five championships he has appeared at since making his debut in 2004.

He also has a knack for multiple-goal games, something has done four times at Euro –against Netherlands in 2012, Hungary in 2016 and 2020, and France in 2020.

Ronaldo is already the all-time men’s international goals and appearances leader, and the only male player to be capped more than 200 times for his country.

He heads into the tournament in form, currently leading the Saudi Pro League with 33 goals.

If he is named captain and leads his team to glory in Germany, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner can also become the second player, after Spain’s Iker Casillas, to skipper his nation to two Euro titles.

Ronaldo, however, is not the only player on Portugal’s squad who enters the tournament with credentials.

EPL stars highlight roster

Bernardo Silva Ruben Dias Bruno Fernandes Portugal
Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Bruno Fernandes

Bernardo Silva and Rúben Dias helped lead Premier League side Manchester City to a historic fourth-consecutive English top-flight title this season, the first time that has been accomplished in the 135-year history of the sport in that country.

The two players were also part of City’s treble in 2022-23 when they captured the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season, becoming only the second English team to accomplish that feat.

Seven other players from the Premier League have also been named to Roberto Martínez’s squad for the tournament, including Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes from Manchester United, Jose Sa, Nelson Semedo and Pedro Neto from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Diogo Jota from Liverpool and Joao Palhinha from Fulham.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Vitinha and Gonçalo Inacio from Sporting CP will also play for Portugal after capturing major domestic titles in Ligue 1 and the Portuguese Primeira Liga respectively.

Veteran defender Pepe is the oldest player in the squad at 41.

Martínez leads Portugal into a major tournament for the first time after taking over last year following the departure of Fernando Santos, who resigned after the country was eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Santos was the man in charge when Portugal lifted the UEFA Euro 2016 championship in France.

Martínez was on the touchline for Belgium at the last World Cup, where they failed to progress through the Group Stage of the tournament.

Portugal are currently favoured to capture Group F and joint-fourth favourites to win the entire tournament alongside Spain, behind England, France and host Germany.

They open the tournament against Czechia before facing Türkiye and closing out the Group Stage against Georgia, the only nation making their European Championship debut at Euro 2024.

Portugal saw their title defence at Euro 2020 end at the hands of Martinez’s Belgium in the Round of 16.

The 2016 champions will be hoping to get back to the top of the mountain in Germany.