Soccer-Euro 2024 fever hits Leipzig with Ronaldo's arrival

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Portugal v Ireland - Aveiro Municipal Stadium, Aveiro, Portugal - June 11, 2024 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Rodrigo Antunes/File Photo

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - On the day of their opening Euro 2024 game, the Portugal players, led by captain Cristiano Ronaldo, emerged from their hotel to greet hundreds of screaming fans on Tuesday, as football fever finally hit Leipzig.

The squad arrived in the city on Monday, checking in at the Westin Hotel in the heart of Leipzig. Large numbers of fans were there to greet the players but were left disappointed when they went straight from the bus into the hotel.

A smaller group waited in vain outside Leipzig Stadium later on Monday, where the squad arrived for the pre-match press conference before their game against the Czech Republic and a training session on the pitch.

Outside the hotel, a cordon of high barriers has been placed to keep the crowds from getting too close, but their patience was rewarded on Tuesday morning when the players came out to greet them.

Ronaldo was, of course, the star attraction, looking relaxed and happily signing autographs and shaking hands with those behind the fences, and was one of the last players to make his way back inside.

The game between Portugal and the Czech Republic is the last of the first round of group matches, so Leipzig has had to wait longer than the other host cities to feel the full Euro atmosphere.

The city was quiet over the weekend, but that is set to change with the last of the Portuguese and Czech supporters arriving for the first of four games to be played in Leipzig.

The impressive Dutch army of fans set is heading for the city ahead of the Netherlands' eagerly-anticipated clash with France on Friday.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes, editing by Ed Osmond)

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