Young pitch invader at Euro 2024 got away with a warning, claims father

A young boy who pulled off a risky plan to invade the pitch during Portugal’s match against Turkey and snap a picture with Cristiano Ronaldo got off with a warning, his father told German media.

Portugal’s 3-1 victory over Turkey in their Euro 2024, Group F game in Dortmund was disrupted by five spectators, including 10-year-old Berat, making it on to the turf.

Related: Euro 2024: security questions after pitch invaders get to Ronaldo – live updates

During a break in the second half of the match, the child wearing the red tracksuit top of his own youth league team and matching red trainers bounded onto the pitch toward Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner gave him a warm welcome, grinning and stretching out his arms. Berat whipped out a mobile phone and snapped a selfie with the Portugal captain before running off again, zigzagging past two stewards to cheers from the 60,000-capacity crowd.

Eventually caught, he got an ovation as he was led away from the field, while security were booed. Berat, who plays for KSV Hessen in his home town of Kassel about 160 km away, told the daily newspaper Bild he was thrilled by the lightning encounter with his hero on the pitch.

“I just made my dream come true,” he said. “Now I have a photo with Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s going on a T-shirt and up in my room.” Asked whether he had been nervous beforehand, Berat said no.

“Why? But I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight now.” The boy added he had boasted to friends before the match about his intentions. “But no one believed I would actually do it,” he said.

Berat said when he was ready to carry out his plan he told his father, who was with him in the stands, that he was going to the toilet. “Suddenly I saw him on the roof of the substitutes’ bench and then he started running,” Berat’s father, Cetin, told Bild.

Although he could have faced a hefty fine, Berat apparently got off with just a warning. “Uefa turned a blind eye because he’s so small,” Cetin said.

Asked whether he would do it again, Berat insisted Saturday’s high jinks had been a one-off. “I’d be too afraid that we’d have to pay a lot of money,” he said.

Berat was the first of five fans who were able to run on to the pitch during the game. Portugal’s manager, Roberto Martínez, voiced security concerns afterwards.

Related: Portugal win Group F and Belgium get off the mark – Football Daily

A sixth man failed in an attempt to get to Ronaldo but caused a steward to slip and crash into the Portugal striker Gonçalo Ramos, knocking the Paris Saint-Germain player to the turf.

“It is a concern because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good,” Martínez said. “We all love a fan who recognises the big stars and the big icons in their life. We all agree with that. But there is a very, very difficult moment if those intentions are wrong – the players are exposed and we need to be careful with that.”