Martinez: Ronaldo 'lucky' not to be harmed by pitch invaders

Martinez: Ronaldo 'lucky' not to be harmed by pitch invaders

Published Jun. 22, 2024 9:07 p.m. ET

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.

"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 behavior 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 recognized in the world of football.

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

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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