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Why Cristiano Ronaldo stands sideways for Portugal's national anthem

Why Cristiano Ronaldo stands sideways for Portugal's national anthem

Ronaldo stands out from his teammates during Portugal's national anthem.

Cristiano Ronaldo will hope to go out on a high in what will likely be his last international tournament at Euro 2024 this summer.

After a disappointing end to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, where Portugal were knocked out by Morocco in the quarter-finals, Ronaldo will be looking to achieve his third international trophy this summer - having already won Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League with his country.

As captain, Ronaldo will lead his countrymen out to the pitch for each of Portugal’s fixtures throughout the tournament.

But during the national anthem, he stands differently to his teammates, leading fans to question what his reasoning could be.

As players such as Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva stand arm and arm to sing 'A Portuguesa', Ronaldo instead often chooses to stand sideways in the lineup.

And the reason is so that he can face the Portugal flag in the stadium as a patriotic gesture ahead of kick-off.

This has been a tradition of the captain throughout his career as a sign of respect for his home nation.

Portugal face the Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 opening fixture on June 18, with Turkey and Georgia completing the group.

As one of the favourites to lift the trophy, Portugal are expected to top the group, leading to a round-of-16 clash with the best third-placed team from groups A to C which include Germany, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Denmark and England among others.

Should they go far, Ronaldo will almost certainly be a key player, as he was in the 2016 competition which saw Portugal defeat France in a closely-fought 1-0 victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Portugal at Euro 2024 (Image: Getty)
Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Portugal at Euro 2024 (Image: Getty)

The Portuguese forward broke the record for the most goals in a Saudi Pro League this season.

“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me,” he said in an Instagram post.

And at the Euros, Ronaldo will have several other opportunities to add to his record-breaking career.

Once he makes his first appearance, the 39-year-old will be the first player in history to feature in six separate European Championships.

He will also become the oldest outfield player to feature in the competition, providing teammate Pepe, 41, doesn’t feature.

Should he get three assists at the tournament, he will snatch the title of the top assister from the Czech Republic’s Karel Poborsky who managed eight assists in the 2000 and 2004 competitions.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Euro 2024, Portugal, Football