Four Times, Fans Rushing Ronaldo Stop the Game

'It shouldn't happen,' Portugal's coach says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2024 5:05 PM CDT
Fans Repeatedly Rush Ronaldo for Selfies, Halting Game
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates react after a pitch invader ran toward him during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The first time it happened Saturday, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo turned to the boy coming toward him on the pitch, smiled, posed for a selfie, and hugged him. When a teenager tried the same thing a few minutes later during the match against Turkey, the Portugal captain raised his arms and waved the intruder away before security caught him, ESPN reports. It happened again and again at the stadium in Dortmund, Germany, with a total of six people—all of whom were trying to get selfies—eventually taken into custody and turned over to German police, per the Guardian.

Roberto Martinez, Ronaldo's coach, said later it was fortunate that none of the intruders, who stopped the match four times, had ill intent, per AFP. "It shouldn't happen," he said. "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." Security was not always quicky to catch the selfie-seekers. The second one put his arm around Ronaldo, who pulled it off as security personnel tried to drag the man away. A later intruder caused a steward to slip and fall into another Portugal player. The selfie attempts continued after the final whistle, with more fans trying to get to Ronaldo as he walked off the field. Portugal won the Euro 24 match 3-0. (More Cristiano Ronaldo stories.)

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