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Cristiano Ronaldo just avoided being hit by a fan who jumped from the crowd to get to him at Euros

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo narrowly avoided being hit by a fan who jumped from the crowd to get close to the soccer star when Portugal played Georgia at the European Championship on Wednesday.

A video widely circulated on social media shows someone leaping over the top of the players’ tunnel at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen as Ronaldo headed to the locker room.

A safety steward rushed to shield the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star and other security staff raced toward the fan, who fell away out of sight.

A bemused-looking Ronaldo stops, but appears to be unharmed. Portugal lost the game 2-0.

Portugal’s Football Federation confirmed the incident, but did not comment. European soccer’s governing body UEFA said it was aware of the incident.

Ronaldo is one of the most famous sporting icons in the world with a massive fan base, which includes 632 million followers on Instagram and nearly 112 million on X.

During Portugal’s previous match against Turkey in Dortmund on Saturday he was confronted on the field by four supporters who wanted selfies.

Ronaldo posed for one with a young fan who evaded stewards to get on the field in the 69th minute, but looked frustrated when approached by more fans later in the game and after the final whistle.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez coach said after that game that the Al Nassr forward was fortunate not to have been harmed and raised concerns over his security.

“We all love a fan that recognizes the big stars and the big icons in their minds,” he said. “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.”

UEFA have said safety and security in the stadium is the “ultimate priority” and that additional safety measures would be deployed to prevent selfie-seeking fans from entering the field.

The 39-year-old Ronaldo is widely-regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time alongside Lionel Messi, Pele and Diego Maradona.

He has won the Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world on five occasions and is a six-time Champions League winner.

He now plays for Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr and reportedly earns up to $200 million a year.

Ronaldo is the first player to appear at six European Championships and while he is yet to score at this year’s tournament, he holds the record for the most goals at the Euros with 14.

He could also become the oldest player to score at a Euros - surpassing Luka Modric, who set a record with his goal for Croatia against Italy on Tuesday at the age of 38 years and 289 days.

Despite the shock loss to Georgia, Portugal advanced to the knockout phase of Euro 2024 and will play Slovenia in the round of 16 in Frankfurt on Monday.


James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson


AP Euro 2024: https://ift.tt/xdSHmrp

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