Euro 2024: Cristiano Ronaldo sets record on sixth tournament

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to appear in six European Championships as Portugal began their 2024 campaign against Czechia on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old will look to reclaim the title that Portugal won in 2016, when they beat host country France 1-0 for their first European trophy.

First appearing in Portugal’s squad in 2004, Ronaldo made his Euros debut on home soil, scoring his first goal in the tournament against Czechia. Now, 20 years later, Portugal face the same team in their opening match of Ronaldo’s sixth championship.

“Today begins another chapter in our history. I fondly remember my first day with the national team, a journey full of challenges and victories. Now, I have the honor of being alongside a team of champions, full of talent and determination,” Ronaldo said in a post on X.

“With everyone’s strength and support, we turn dreams into reality. Let’s, together, fight for another triumph. United, we are unstoppable. Go Portugal!”

Since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo has featured in every subsequent Portugal team since — 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020 (played in 2021 due to COVID-19) and now 2024.

With 14 Euros goals, Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals by any player in the history of the competition, with his personal record being five goals in one campaign in the 2020 edition.

Also on Tuesday, Portugal centre-back Pepe became the oldest player in European Championship history aged 41 years and 113 days.

Pepe beats the previous record held by former Hungary goalkeeper Gábor Király, who was 40 years and 86 days old when he played in their Euro 2016 round-of-16 defeat by Belgium.

Despite Portugal’s star-studded attacking lineup, which includes talents such as João Félix, Gonçalo Ramos and Rafael Leão, Ronaldo remains the team’s most prolific striker and will captain the side for the tournament.

Portugal will also face Georgia and Turkey in Group F.