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EURO 2020: Ronaldo ready for ‘perfect’ debut in front of full house

Ronaldo is looking forward to beginning Euro 2020 in front of a packed Puskas Arena when he leads defending champion Portugal against Hungary.

Ronaldo, 36, will take the field in front of 68,000 fans in the Hungarian capital on Tuesday in what should be Portugal’s simplest match in a tough Group F alongside Germany and world champion France.

“It’s perfect. I wish every single venue could host a full house. It’s great for viewers and players, but sadly it’s not up to us to decide,” said Ronaldo on Monday.

“We know the pandemic has its influence. I wish we could always play before a full house.”

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Portugal has lost Joao Cancelo from its squad to Covid-19 after the Manchester City right-back tested positive for the virus on Sunday. But Ronaldo says the team is not worried about the pandemic.

“We don’t talk about Covid because we’re tired of it. It’s a sad situation but we’re focused… Nothing will shake us… We’re just focused on playing.

“I think the team is ready, physically and emotionally. The players are young, but that doesn’t stop us from dreaming. I know all the players are ready.”

The Portugal captain is set to become the first person to play in at least one match at five European Championships and also has another record in sight.

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He needs just five more goals to equal Iranian Ali Daei’s all-time mark of 109 international goals.

“I’m not the same player I was 18 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago… you keep adjusting,” said Ronaldo.

“I’m more mature, if a player wants to play for many years, he needs to learn how to adapt. From 18 to 36 years old, I’ve learned to adjust and adapt, and I’ve always been able to win personally and collectively.”

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