Portuguese central defender Jose Fonte believes Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the national team to ‘at least’ Euro 2024.
The Manchester United star led his country to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this week after a 2-0 play-off overall win over North Macedonia. The 37-year-old will now be featured in his fifth final, with Portugal entering the tournament with a quality squad.
Ronaldo recently said he felt he could play into his 40s, and Fonte agrees. Speaking to talkSPORT, the Lille defender said: “I think in his last interview he made it quite clear that he is the one who decides his future.
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“I think he feels good physically, he feels great. If he had the chance to win it and the chance to keep performing on the highest podiums, then he will keep playing, as he said.”
Fonte, who featured in the 3-1 win over Turkey in the semi-finals of the play-offs, backed Ronaldo to lead Portugal at Euro 2024 and perhaps beyond. He added: “No one knows exactly what he has in mind, so only he can decide his future.
“He wants to play and keep playing, so I assume he will be in Qatar, and not just in Qatar, but at least at the next European Championship.” Fonte believes Portugal can have a successful World Cup in December, despite failing to win their qualifying group, with Fernando Santos’ squad brimming with talent.
“I have to say that I have never seen a team like this one that came out with so much talent and so much quality all over the field,” he added. “I do believe the future looks bright.
“I am fully convinced that if we do well we will be in the big battle to win tournaments because we have so much quality and so much talent in [Joao] Felix, [Diogo] Jota, Bruno Fernandes. We have central defenders like Tiago Djalo, Ruben Dias and then you have Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot and Nuno Mendes.”
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