Cristiano Ronaldo Describes Emotional Rollercoaster as Portugal Advances to Euro 2024 Quarter-Finals

From Tears to Triumph: Ronaldo Leads Portugal to Victory Over Slovenia

Cristiano Ronaldo experienced a night of high drama against Slovenia in the Euro 2024 round of 16 on Monday. The 39-year-old Portugal captain was brought to tears after missing a crucial penalty in extra time, describing the moment as hitting “rock bottom.” However, he bounced back to score in a shootout, helping Portugal secure a spot in the quarter-finals against France.

The intense match remained goalless after 90 minutes, pushing both teams into extra time. Portugal had a golden opportunity when they were awarded a penalty, but Ronaldo’s shot was spectacularly saved by Slovenia’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The miss left Ronaldo visibly distraught.

Despite the setback, Ronaldo composed himself and confidently scored the opening penalty in the shootout. Portugal triumphed 3-0 in the shootout, thanks to their goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who saved three consecutive penalties.

“Even the strongest people have their bad days. I was at rock bottom when the team needed me the most,” Ronaldo admitted. “Sadness at the start is joy at the end. That’s what football is—moments, inexplicable moments. I feel sad and happy at the same time. But the important thing is to enjoy it. The team did an extraordinary job. We fought right to the end and I think we deserved it because we had more authority.”

Costa, the hero of the shootout, expressed his admiration for Ronaldo. “We all know that Cristiano is the hardest worker,” Costa said. “I understand how frustrated he is because he devotes all his time to this. It’s a pleasure and an honour to be on the same team as him. We’re a family, and I focus on making the best of these chances to help the team. This is probably the best game of my life.”

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Portugal’s manager, Roberto Martinez, praised Ronaldo’s resilience and leadership. “When you see a player, the only player to play in six Euros, with the desire and belief like a young man—those emotions are incredible for someone who has won everything and experienced everything,” Martinez said.

“He doesn’t need to care that much, and that is why I thank him for the way he is. After missing a penalty, he was the first penalty taker in the shootout, showing us the way to victory. We are all very, very proud of our captain.”

Portugal will face France in Hamburg on Friday, July 5, with the momentum of their dramatic victory against Slovenia driving them forward.

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