Cristiano Ronaldo, the legendary No.7, is gearing up for his 11th international tournament as Euro 2024 approaches, reported by GOAL. Portugal's manager, Roberto Martinez, has provided a crucial update on Ronaldo's role and fitness, emphasizing the value of his extensive experience despite some defensive shortcomings.

Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh off a prolific season with Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League where he netted 50 goals, remains a key figure for Portugal. At 39, his age has led to debates about his role in the national team. However, Martinez is unwavering in his belief in Ronaldo’s importance.

With the European Championship on the horizon, Portugal is assessing how best to utilize their iconic forward. Despite his legendary status, Ronaldo’s advancing age and current club level have raised questions about his ability to start in every match of a major tournament.

Roberto Martinez's stance

Martinez addressed these concerns directly, highlighting Ronaldo’s unparalleled experience. “It is important for us to attack and defend with 11,” Martinez said. “Cristiano has brutal experience. There is no other with this experience. He is a player who knows very well how to use space in the area and is a special finisher, a special player. Cristiano's focus, reaction to loss, and defensive positions were perfect during the games we played, the last 11 games. So for me, there are no doubts, there are no worries.”

While some critics point out Ronaldo’s lack of defensive work, Martinez emphasizes the forward's overall contribution and leadership. Ronaldo’s ability to handle the physical demands of tournament football, where matches come in quick succession, is also under scrutiny.

Martinez is confident in Ronaldo's fitness and capability to endure the rigorous schedule of a major tournament. Reflecting on Ronaldo’s recent performances, he stated, “Cris had 51 games last season and had no problems playing all the games. He played many competitions, but the dates at club level are not the same as at the national team level. I think there is no problem, but we evaluate this in real-time and during the tournament.”

Cristiano Ronaldo's recent form

Ronaldo’s remarkable 2023-24 season with Al-Nassr, scoring 50 goals, shows that he remains a potent force in front of goal. His experience and scoring ability are assets that Martinez is keen to leverage, ensuring that Ronaldo’s presence on the pitch is maximized to benefit the team.

Portugal is finalizing their preparations for Euro 2024 with a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday. This match serves as the last opportunity for Martinez to fine-tune his squad before the European Championship kicks off.

Portugal’s competitive action in Euro 2024 begins on June 18 with a match against Czechia. As the team navigates through the tournament, Ronaldo’s role and contributions will be closely watched, with fans and pundits alike eager to see if he can continue to defy age and lead Portugal to glory once again.

Ronaldo's legacy

Ronaldo’s participation in Euro 2024 marks another milestone in his illustrious career. His ability to adapt and maintain high performance levels at 39 is a testament to his dedication and skill. As Portugal embarks on their European Championship journey, Ronaldo's experience and goal-scoring prowess will be crucial in their quest for success.

Cristiano Ronaldo's inclusion in the Portugal squad for Euro 2024 is a significant boost for the team. Despite concerns about his defensive contributions and the physical demands of the tournament, Roberto Martinez's faith in Ronaldo's experience and abilities underscores his importance to the squad. As Portugal prepares for their opening match, the focus will be on how effectively Ronaldo can lead the team and potentially add another chapter to his storied career.