O’Shea predicted that Ronaldo will become the future coach of Portugal
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O’Shea predicted that Ronaldo will become the future coach of Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo has been told by John O’Shea that he will one day manage Portugal when he ends his playing career.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was included in Portugal’s squad for Euro 2024, which Portugal will start next Tuesday with a match against the Czech Republic.

Ronaldo will be competing in his 13th major international tournament and it could be his last considering he will be 41 before the next World Cup.

Despite his age, Ronaldo still regularly scores goals for Al Nassr at club level, and also scored 10 times in Euro 2024 qualifying.

But when the striker finally hangs up his boots, former Manchester United team-mate O’Shea sees him transitioning into a coaching role.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Portugal, Ireland’s interim head coach O’Shea said: “Knowing the kind of person he is, his dedication and professionalism, I’m sure he has plans to continue in Portugal and wherever he goes.

“I’m sure he has ambitions to manage his country in the future as well in the upcoming tournaments if he wants to put that pressure on himself.

“Throughout his career, he had no problem dealing with the pressure of his country. Whatever his next steps are, I am sure they will be positive for Portugal.”

Ronaldo’s 10 goals in qualifying were only bettered by Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (14).

The 39-year-old is the leading scorer in international men’s football, having scored 128 goals in 206 matches, including 14 in the European Championship finals.

“You see in Saudi, he scored a few goals for that team, but you also see the impact he had by scoring goals for Portugal in their campaign to qualify for the Euros,” O’Shea added.

“I have no doubt what plans or rotations Portugal will need to use to maximize how far they go in the tournament, I think Ronaldo will certainly play a key role in that.”

The 2016 Portuguese champions will also face Turkiye and Georgia in their Group F campaign.