Euro 2024: Portugal in Slovakia to take the lead

Euro 2024: Portugal in Slovakia to take the lead

The Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo challenges the Slovak national team, today, Friday, in Bratislava, with the aim of continuing their qualifiers for the 2024 European Championship against their main competitor in Group X.

Under the command of Spain’s Roberto Martinez, the Seleçao have already overcome their four other opponents and dominate their group with a two-point lead over the Slovaks, who lead the chase with three wins after a 0-0 draw in Luxembourg. At the start of the qualifying campaign.

Portugal will also host the Grand Duchy team next Monday in Faro (south), which it crushed in the first leg (6-0).

“I want to win both games. If we win, we will practically qualify,” Cristiano Ronaldo said on Wednesday at a press conference.

And after two more convincing victories over Liechtenstein (4-0) and Bosnia (3-0), it was Iceland that suffered the most to win (1-0), thanks to a stoppage-time goal signed by “CR7” who celebrated his 200th international selection. .

And with Martinez, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner regained his place in the model squad that he lost during the 2022 World Cup, at the end of the Fernando Santos era that was marked by the Portuguese crowning of Euro 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored six goals in four matches since the resumption of the Saudi championship, where he has been playing since joining Al-Nasr club in an exciting retirement period before retiring last January.

“I want more. (…) As long as I play, I want to raise the bar very high, I have to think big,” said the 38-year-old, who on Saturday surpassed 850 career goals with his club. .

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“Make an excellent euro”

The forward, who celebrates his 20th anniversary this year, said he was “proud” of his “longevity” but without wanting to project himself for the long term.

“I want to continue, because I feel good and useful” but “anything can happen,” he explained, before adding that he simply wanted to “enjoy the moment” and “do an excellent European Championship”.

Another former Seleção player, defender Pepe (40 years old), will be absent due to injury, as will Rafael Guerrero and Renato Sanchez.

On the other hand, Roberto Martinez surprised the commentators by including striker Joao Felix and full-back Joao Cancelo to his list, despite not having played a single match since the start of the season.

Meanwhile, the two players arrived at FC Barcelona on loan. After his failure at Atletico Madrid, Felix made multiple calls to Barcelona, ​​while Cancelo is no longer very popular at Manchester City and actually joined Bayern Munich on loan last January.

With 14 goals scored and none conceded, Portugal are clearly favorites against Slovakia, all on their way to claiming their second ticket to UEFA Euro 2024 in this group.

The two teams have not faced each other since their qualification for the 2006 World Cup, a double confrontation that ended in a draw with Slovakia (1-1) and the Portuguese victory in the second leg (2-0).

“We want to be a dominant team and that’s what we will try to do in Slovakia. Of course we will give everything from the start,” PSG Vitinya midfielder said on Tuesday in a press conference.

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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