Soccer selfies: Cristiano Ronaldo fans cause four stoppages during Euro 2024 match

Cristiano Ronaldo

DORTMUND, Germany — Soccer fans are passionate, but several selfie-seekers wanting a photo with star forward Cristiano Ronaldo caused Saturday’s Euro 24 match to be halted four times.

Portugal’s match against Turkey was stopped four times by spectators running onto the pitch, including a boy who sprinted toward the soccer star to snap a selfie, The Washington Post reported. Ronaldo was approached two more times after Portugal’s 3-0 victory in the Group F match.

Roberto Martinez, Portugal’s coach, condemned fans running onto the pitch and urged other supporters to refrain from doing so, according to ESPN.

“It is a concern, but today we were lucky as intentions of the fans were good,” Martinez told reporters after the match. “The fans recognize big stars and icons but there is a very difficult situation if their intentions are wrong and players are exposed.

“It shouldn’t happen. There is lots of security, so it shouldn’t happen. Maybe there is a message to that fans, that this is not the right way (to behave). The message is that it could get worse for the future and it’s not good that the players are so exposed on the pitch.”

The first person to run onto the pitch was a child, who approached the 39-year-old star at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, Germany, the Post reported. Ronaldo smiled and embraced the boy, who pulled out a cellphone and snapped a quick selfie before darting away from security personnel.

The child was apprehended and led off the field as the crowd cheered, according to the newspaper.

“Match winner,” one person posted on X.

Approximately 15 minutes later a teenage boy attempted to repeat the stunt, but Ronaldo waved him away before security staffers stopped the youth, ESPN reported.

In both cases, German referee Felix Zwayer halted the match until the intruders were escorted away, according to the sports news outlet.

During stoppage time, two adult men ran toward a visibly annoyed Ronaldo with their cellphones before they were intercepted by security workers, the Post reported.

After the match ended, two more fans tried to reach Ronaldo as he walked toward the locker room, according to the newspaper. One of his teammates, forward Gonçalo Ramos, was knocked down as security rushed to stop one of the fans, the Post reported.

The incidents will lead to an automatic disciplinary investigation by UEFA over security inside the stadium, according to ESPN. The venue is likely to host Germany’s round-of-16 event and also a semifinal later in the tournament.

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