Cristiano Ronaldo's ex-Real Madrid manager predicts his role in Euro 2024

Jose Mourinho expects former Real Madrid star to have significant role for Portugal in Euro 2024

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Web Desk
This combination of images shows Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. — Reuters/Files

Cristiano Ronaldo is all set to grace the football field with his Portugal teammates in Germany for the Euro 2024, after being benched in the friendly against Croatia where his team was defeated.

After Saturday's match, Ronaldo's former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has said that he expects Ronaldo to have a significant role for Portugal in the European Championship this summer, despite his age.

Ronaldo, at 39 years old, has already notched 128 goals for his national team and is preparing to compete in his 11th tournament.

According to the Mirror UK, the 61-year-old Portuguese manager has no doubts that the AL Nassr striker will play a pivotal role.

"The coach knows," said Mourinho. "Cristiano is the one who knows how he feels, what his goals are, how the coach wants to use him, whether to play every minute of every game or protect him in key moments.

"But there's a lot that goes on inside that gets between them. He has a lot of influence and he will score his goals.

"I don't believe he will leave the European Championship without goals."

Mourinho also gave his verdict on who could come away victorious this summer.

"I think practically everyone thinks like me," he said. "Portugal, England, France, below them are Germany and Spain."

However, the potential winners that Mourinho predicted have not had the smoothest of weeks. 

In addition to Portugal losing 2-1 to Croatia in a friendly on Saturday evening, England suffered defeat to Iceland in their final friendly before the tournament.

Germany squeaked past Greece with an 89th-minute winner from Pascal Gross in a 2-1 win. 

Spain and France may have an easier time against Northern Ireland and Canada respectively in their final games before the tournament begins on Friday.