• June 17, 2021

Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on international goals record, Bruno Fernandes gets brace, while Joao Cancelo scores stunner as Portugal finish Euro 2020 warm-up matches with convincing win

 Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on international goals record, Bruno Fernandes gets brace, while Joao Cancelo scores stunner as Portugal finish Euro 2020 warm-up matches with convincing win


Portugal threw down the gauntlet to their Euro 2020 rivals as they signed off their preparation for the tournament with a 4-0 thumping of Israel.

A brace by Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, Manchester City full-back Joan Cancelo’s stunning effort and a strike from the great Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the win for the European champions in Lisbon.

Portugal showed theyre ready to mount a serious challenge to win back-to-back European Championships

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Portugal showed theyre ready to mount a serious challenge to win back-to-back European Championships

They were expected to beat the Israelis, who didn’t qualify for this summer’s finals, but were made to wait until the 42nd minute when Fernandes broke the deadlock.

The 26-year-old slotted home Cancelo’s low cross from the right, giving Ofir Marciano no chance.

The floodgates were now opened and Portugal doubled their advantage just two minutes later thanks to talisman Ronaldo.

Fernandes turned provider this time as he slipped the ball to Ronaldo on the left and the Juventus star’s powerful effort was too hot to handle for Marciano.

Fernandes opened the scoring

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Fernandes opened the scoring

Before Ronaldo doubled their advantage. Can he become record international goalscorer during Euro 2020?

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Before Ronaldo doubled their advantage. Can he become record international goalscorer during Euro 2020?

The goal is Ronaldo’s 104th for Portugal, meaning he’s five strikes off former Iran star Ali Daei’s all-time international goal record of 109.

It was 3-0 in the 86th minute thanks to Cancelo, who cut inside on the right before beautifully curling home from 25 yards out.

And Fernandes rounded off the victory with a pile-driver of his own as he fired the ball into the top left-hand corner in stoppage-time.

Fernandes, who struggles to replicate the same form for Portugal as he has at club level, appears to be hitting form at the right time

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Fernandes, who struggles to replicate the same form for Portugal as he has at club level, appears to be hitting form at the right time

Portugal, who were surprise winners of Euro 2016, are one of the favourites to win the competition this year.

They kick off their campaign against Hungary on Tuesday, LIVE on talkSPORT, but also face Germany and world champions France in Group F.

A last-16 tie against England could await but Portugal defender Jose Fonte is relishing playing against the continent’s top teams this summer.

Fonte told talkSPORT: “We want to start well, we want to win games. Those are the fixtures that we have and we have to prepare in the best way that we can so we can attack these games and get what we want.


“I think it’s amazing. There are fantastic games to come, they are the games that everybody wants to play. If you want to win the title you’ve got to go through everybody.

On the prospect of playing England, Fonte added: “It would be great. On a personal level I’d love to play against England.

“I have fond memories from my time playing in the Premier League so what a great challenge it would be as England has a great squad as well.”





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