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Cold, hungry and home late – not quite how I envisaged Nations League stint | Max Rushden

Two long nights in Portugal gave me a new-found respect for pitchside reporters and an extra-time craving for a banana

It’s the 90th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo, on a hat?trick, cuts inside his man and whacks it in the corner of the net to seal Portgual’s 3-1 win against Switzerland in the Nations League. I am reporting pitchside for the Australian TV network Optus Sport. What an honour, to witness the second greatest player of the modern era shine so brightly in front of his adoring home support.

Except I don’t see it. As Ronaldo strikes the ball, I am sprinting down five flights of concrete steps. There is a lot of concrete in Porto’s stadium and I am surrounded by it. A few flights behind is my co-presenter, the former Queens Park Rangers and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ned Zelic. His fitness is not what it once was.

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