Cristiano Ronaldo may be playing in his final Euro 2024 qualifier and the Al-Nassr superstar starts in Portugal’s clash with Iceland tonight (November 19).
The 2016 UEFA European Champion made his first appearance in Euro qualifying action 17 years ago. Tonight may be the last time the legendary forward represents Portugal in such games as it’s Selecao’s final qualifier of this campaign.
Ronaldo, 38, has been in stellar form for his national team during the qualifiers, bagging 10 goals and one assist in eight games. Roberto Martinez’s side have already booked their ticket to next year’s Euros but the Spanish coach has gone strong with his lineup.
Diogo Costa starts in goal with Joao Mario, Ruben Dias, Goncalo Inacio, and Joao Cancelo in defense. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes, Otavio, and Joao Palhinha are in midfield.
Ronaldo starts in attack alongside Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix and he will be eager to continue his rich vein of form. Fans are eager for him to do so as he likely plays in the last Euro qualifier of his illustrious career.
One fan alluded to this:
“Cristiano Ronaldo played his first Euro qualifier 17 years ago and today he goes out one last time at the Euro Qualifiers vs Iceland. What a ride it’s been.”
Another fan has urged Ronaldo to try and displace Romelu Lukaku as Euro 2024 qualifiers top scorer. The Belgian currently sits on 14 to the Portugal icon’s 10:
“(Ronaldo) to score at lest two goals. He must try to outscore Lukaku.”
Here’s how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Portugal’s lineup to face Iceland:
Steven Gerrard hails Portugal hero Cristiano Ronaldo as the GOAT who popularized the Saudi Pro League
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard gave a glowing verdict of Cristiano Ronaldo when speaking about his role in luring high-profile names to the Saudi Pro League. The Al-Ettifaq coach said (via FourFourTwo):
“The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano, him arriving in January obviously [was] a huge signing.”
Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in January after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent in November 2022. He’s rolled back the years with scintillating showings, managing 30 goals and 11 assists in 36 games across competitions.
Gerrard insisted that Ronaldo still had a lot to offer upon joining Al-Alami:
“He still had a lot of football to offer. So, from afar, for six months, I was looking in at Cristiano Ronaldo’s results, at the league, watching some games and watching some highlights.”
The Liverpool legend reckons the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s move to KSU Stadium was key as to why European superstars followed suit:
“I think from that moment, the league around the world had become a very popular talking point for everyone. After Cristiano’s arrival, even more big-name signings, talents and skill sets were joining the league.”
The Saudi Pro League was boosted by several world-class acquisitions this past summer. The likes of Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, and Neymar headed to the Middle East.