Portugal manager expresses ‘concern’ after several fans invade pitch at Euro 2024 to take a selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo

Damond Isiaka
4 Min Read


CNN
 — 

Even though Portugal defeated Turkey 3-0 and qualified for the knockout stages at Euro 2024 on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo still cut a frustrated figure at times as several fans invaded the pitch to try to take selfies with him.

So many breaches of stadium security at the BVB Stadion in Dortmund, Germany marked a “concern” for Portugal manager Roberto Martínez who told reporters that “we were lucky that the intentions of fans were good.”

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“We all love a fan who recognizes the big stars and the big icons in their lives … but there are very, very difficult moments if those intentions are wrong – the players are exposed and we need to be careful with that,” he added.

“I don’t think that should happen on a football pitch. There is a lot of security and a lot of protection and I don’t think that should happen. And probably we should give a message to the fans that it’s not right way; you’re not going to get anything out of it and probably the measures will get worse for the future.”

UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, told CNN that safety and security were its “ultimate priority” and that “additional safety measures will be deployed in the stadiums to further meet the requirements of the tournament, and to prevent such incidents.”

At first, a young pitch invader made his way across to Ronaldo who happily posed for a selfie and grinned as the boy tried to sprint away from the stewards who eventually led him off.

But then when a second older fan had the same idea and put his arm around Ronaldo as he took a selfie while the stewards tried to shake him off, the Portuguese star threw his hands up in frustration.

Later, other fans were tackled by several stewards before they reached Ronaldo, though one steward inadvertently tackled Portugal’s Gonçalo Ramos as he rushed to get to the fan, and the striker fell onto the grass.

UEFA added that any incursion onto the pitch “will result in expulsion from the stadium, a ban from all tournament matches and the filing of a formal criminal complaint for trespass.”

Despite the chaos, Portugal captain Bernardo Silva – who scored the first goal after an assist from Ronaldo – told reporters that he found the constant invasions “annoying” rather than dangerous.

A pitch invader is carted off the pitch during the match.

“It’s just a bit annoying in terms of always have to stop the game because a fan enters the pitch but that’s the price you pay for being so recognized in the world of football and having a player like him with us,” he said.

Although Ronaldo contributed an assist – his eighth at a European Championship, equaling the record – he is still searching for a goal at this tournament.

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