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Portugal can only win Euros WITHOUT Ronaldo, says World Cup winner

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portgual, 2023

France ’98 World Cup winner Franck Leboeuf thinks Portugal can win Euro ’24 – but only if they drop Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo will head to Germany as Portugal captain, one who has scored 128 goals from 205 caps – the former a world record.

Now plying his trade with Al-Nassr, Ronaldo has hit 42 goals and 13 assists in 49 games since he arrived in Saudi Arabia after his Manchester United contract was terminated in late 2022.

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr: Goals, assists, results & fixtures

He believes he can still do it at the top level, and another 10 strikes in nine qualifying games for Portugal suggest he might be right. But Leboeuf doesn’t think so.

“I actually think [Portugal] can win the Euros, but only if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t play,” the former Chelsea centre-back told BetVictor.

“You can’t take away anything that Ronaldo’s done for football just because he’s gone to retire in the Saudi League.

— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) March 5, 2023

Ronaldo and Messi ‘ending their careers’

“I want to thank him for taking the sport to another level, but there is an end for everyone. He has every right to play in Saudi Arabia, although I’m not sure he needed even more money.

“I have no problem with players coming to the end of their careers going to play in lesser leagues to earn more money, the same has happened with Lionel Messi.”

READ: Lionel Messi at Inter Miami: Goals, assists, results & fixtures in 2024

Messi, of course, is now playing for Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

Ronaldo will take part in a record-extending sixth European Championship if he takes part as expected this summer.

He won the competition in 2016 as Portugal beat hosts France in the final, although he was somewhat upstaged by the teenaged Renato Sanches that summer.

Ronaldo, who cost Real Madrid a then world record €94 million in 2009, is now valued at €10.3 million by FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm.

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