Ronaldo pitch invasions spark Euro 2024 security action

Ronaldo pitch invasions spark Euro 2024 security action

Updated Jun. 23, 2024 10:15 a.m. ET

Cristiano Ronaldo's in-game interactions with several fans at Euro 2024 on Friday have prompted Portugal team officials to seek a meeting with UEFA after head coach Roberto Martinez expressed concerns for his players' safety.

During Portugal's comfortable 3-0 victory over Turkey in Dortmund, a young fan ran onto the field, snapped a selfie with his hero, then evaded several security guards before eventually being apprehended.

Perhaps emboldened by the youngster's adventure, five other supporters ran onto the field at different times during and just after the game, apparently in the hope of meeting the 39-year-old superstar.

Yet while Ronaldo seemed to enjoy the first pitch invasion and happily posed for a photo, and was moderately bothered by the ones that followed, Portugal is keen to ensure the situation does not get out of hand as it seeks to progress through the tournament. The last of the fans to make an attempt caused a steward to slip and crash into Portugal sub Goncalo Ramos, causing the player to fall.

In the buildup to the team's clash with Georgia in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday, representatives from the Portugal camp are planning to speak to their UEFA security counterparts to gain reassurance that there will be no repeat.

According to multiple European press reports, UEFA has already launched an investigation into the breaches that occurred in Dortmund.

"It is a concern," Martinez told reporters after the game. "Today the intentions of the fans were good. We all love a fan who recognizes the big stars and icons.

"But, you understand, there is a difficult moment if their intentions are wrong. We need to be careful. It shouldn't happen. There is a lot of security.

"We should give a message to fans also, because it is not the right way. It may get worse for the future. It is not good to have players so exposed on the pitch."

Ronaldo's popularity remains as high as ever and his presence was the main reason why there were 6,000 fans at one of the team's pre-tournament training sessions in Germany.

🎥 Best of Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Türkiye

On that occasion, too, a fan jumped over the hoardings, ran onto the field and grabbed Ronaldo, before being taken away.

The small fan who was the first to approach Ronaldo in the Turkey game and was greeted with outstretched arms, was released with a warning on account of being so young, his father later told German newspaper Bild.

Midfielder Bruno Fernandes said he was less concerned about safety risks as opposed to potential interruptions to the game.

"It is a bit annoying, always having to stop the game because a fan enters," Fernandes told reporters. "That is the price you pay for being so recognized in the world of football and having a player like Ronaldo with us."


Ronaldo and Fernandes combined for the third goal against Turkey, with Ronaldo's assist breaking the all-time Euros tournament record with seven.

Portugal has already secured first place in Group F, so it is possible that Ronaldo and other leading stars are rested against Georgia.

The team has been one of the best in the tournament so far, sparking optimism that Ronaldo can add the second international trophy of his distinguished career, after winning the 2016 Euros with Portugal.

"Everyone knows our objective is to win," Fernandes added. "There is no other."

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.


Get more from UEFA Euro Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more