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Euros 2024 day 9: Ronaldo selfie-takers spark security concerns

Steward catches a pitch invader that ran to Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund.
Steward catches a pitch invader that ran to Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund. Copyright Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments on the European Championship 2024.

Portugal easily beat Turkey 3-0 amid security concerns

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Cristiano Ronaldo should consider himself lucky to have come to no harm after being confronted on the field by four supporters who wanted selfies during a European Championship match on Saturday, Portugal coach Roberto Martinez said.

The alarming string of security breaches happened in the second half of Portugal's 3-0 win over Turkey in Dortmund's Westfalenstadion.

Ronaldo was happy to pose for a selfie with a young fan who evaded stewards to get on the field in the 69th minute before whipping out his cell phone.

However, Ronaldo was clearly unhappy when two more people tried to do the same in the final minutes of the game. Then another person — wearing a red Portugal jersey — got close to the 39-year-old striker for a photograph moments after the final whistle. 

Two more people then attempted to confront Ronaldo as he walked off the field with his teammates but were held back by security on those occasions.

A pitch invader takes a selfie with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany.
A pitch invader takes a selfie with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany.Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

“It is a concern,” Martinez said, "because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good.

“We all love a fan that recognizes the big stars and the big icons in their minds. We all agree with that. But you can understand it was a very, very difficult moment — if those intentions are wrong, the players are exposed and we need to be careful with that. I don't think that should happen on a football pitch.” 

Martinez said it was important to send a message to fans that this behaviour was not acceptable.

“It's not the right way, you’re not going to get anything out of it,” Martinez added. "And what you do is probably the measures get worse for the future.

“It’s not good to get the players so exposed when you have people running on the pitch.”

Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo's teammate and a scorer against Turkey, said he was “not really concerned” about the supporters who got on the field.

“It's just a bit annoying in terms of having to stop the game because a fan enters the pitch,” Silva said. "That’s the price you pay for being so recognised in the world of football.

“In terms of feeling in danger, no. Not me personally.”

Belgium shake off opening loss

Belgium shook off the shock of losing to Slovakia in its opening game of the European Championship by beating Romania 2-0 on Saturday.

Kevin De Bruyne's second-half goal completed the win after Youri Tielemans scored in the second minute at Cologne Stadium.

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Watching on were Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

“We knew what we needed to do. We needed to win otherwise we were going home," De Bruyne said. “I will do everything I can to keep the lads on track.”

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Belgium and Romania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Belgium and Romania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne.Martin Meissner/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Georgia draw in Euro's debut

Georgia earned its first-ever point at a major tournament in a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic at Euro 2024 on Saturday. It was nearly a win.

The Czech team dominated the opening stages and celebrated a disallowed goal in the 23rd minute when Adam Hlozek bundled the ball into the net at the far post off a long throw

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But the situation was reversed just before half-time. Georgia, the only team making its debut at Euro 2024, took the lead with a Georges Mikautadze penalty given for handball by Czech defender Robin Hranec.

The Czech team then got back into the game when a header rebounded off the post and Patrik Schick scored with his chest for his sixth career goal at the European Championships, ranking him joint-sixth on the all-time list.

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