MX23RW : Wednesday, July 24 22:26:44| >> :600:621562:621562:
[monks data]
Portugal national football team
Friendlies 1
Jun 11, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Estadio Municipal de Aveiro
Republic of Ireland national football team

3 - 0
Rep. Ireland

Felix (18'), Ronaldo (50', 60')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Roberto Martinez lavishes praise on "unbelievable" Cristiano Ronaldo

Martinez lavishes praise on
© Reuters
Portugal manager Roberto Martinez hails "unbelievable" Cristiano Ronaldo following his brace against Republic of Ireland.

Portugal head coach Roberto Martinez paid tribute to "unbelievable" Cristiano Ronaldo following the attacker's two-goal performance against Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night.

The 39-year-old did not feature against either Finland on June 4 or Croatia on June 8, but he played the full 90 minutes of Tuesday's friendly with Republic of Ireland and netted twice in a 3-0 success for the national side.

Martinez was full of praise for the Al-Nassr striker after the contest, with the veteran moving onto 130 goals in 207 appearances at international level.

Joao Felix sent the hosts ahead in the 18th minute of the contest in Aveiro, before Ronaldo registered twice in the space of 10 second-half minutes.

"His commitment as captain is unbelievable. Today we saw two world-class goals, but I really enjoyed his work," Martinez told reporters after the contest.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Portugal on June 11, 2024© Reuters

Portugal win final friendly ahead of Euro 2024

"He had already scored two goals, but his first option was to assist a teammate. That shows solidarity and companionship, and they are important values in a dressing room when you're going to the Euros.

"But also goals are very important and they were excellent."

Ronaldo also addressed his future after the clash, as he prepares to take part in an 11th major international tournament during what has been a stunning career.

"I know I don't have many years of football left," Ronaldo said. "It's a gift to play year after year, after 35. I'm 39 and every year is about enjoying [myself]. To score for the national team is special. The national team is the love of my life, winning the Euros would be a dream.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo on July 10, 2016© Reuters

Portugal bidding to win a second European Championship

"For me, playing for the national team is a passion, a love. Any game is special, a European Championship is special, it will be my sixth, which is also a record.

"Playing in 2004, when I made my [European Championship] debut, or playing today, the feeling is always of pride and passion. It doesn't get any better than this."

Portugal famously won the European Championship in 2016, and they will be going in search of their second title at the competition this summer.

Martinez's side will begin their Group F campaign against the Czech Republic on June 18, while they will also take on Turkey (June 22) and Georgia (June 26) in the group stage of the competition.

Portugal won all 10 of their qualification fixtures for Euro 2024, with the national team's last competitive defeat proving to be a 1-0 loss to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup.

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Portugal on June 11, 2024
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