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Euro 2012: Cristiano Ronaldo curses bad luck after Portugal crash out

28th June 2012

• Ronaldo admits pain of losing quarter-final on penalties
• But insists: ‘I am happy with my own contribution’
• In pictures: the best images from the semi-final in Donetsk

Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his frustration after Portugal were knocked out of Euro 2012 by Spain on penalties, but insists he was content with his own contribution.

After a goalless 120 minutes in the semi-final, Spain won the shoot-out 4-2 with Ronaldo, scheduled to take the fifth kick, looking on. The Real Madrid star was not at his best during the game, and missed a fine chance to win it at the end of normal time.

He told O Jogo: “It’s always painful losing on penalties but penalties are always a lottery and the one who has the best luck wins. We’re going out a bit frustrated because we could have gone to the final but we were unlucky.

“I gave my best as I always have done and that’s why I am happy with my own contribution. We must be proud because we played well but we didn’t have the luck we needed.”

He later confirmed to the Portuguese TV network SIC: “I was going to take the next [penalty], but we missed two.

“It was just a question of me speaking with the coach. He said to me, ‘Do you want to take the fifth one?’ and I said ‘yes’. Sometimes I take the first, the second or the third. I agreed to take the fifth.

“I hope Spain win the tournament now because I have a lot friends there and I play there and it will be a tough final for them. It felt very normal playing against Real Madrid players. On the pitch we are not friends, but outside we are.”

Asked why Ronaldo, the world’s most expensive player, did not step up to take a penalty, the Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: “We had this plan and if it had been 4-4 and he would taken the last penalty we would be talking in a different way.

“We lost because Spain were more efficient in the penalties, but it’s true that we did not have any luck in this tournament.”

There was also confusion over the third penalty. Bruno Alves walked forward to take it but Nani suddenly appeared behind him, took it and scored. Alves then came back for the fourth spot kick but struck the bar, handing the initiative to Fabregas.

“There was some confusion with Bruno Alves and with Nani, then Bruno took the penalty and it was decisive,” the coach said.

“Penalties could have been an advantage for us, but we lost the advantage after the first one… If I had to choose a way of losing I wouldn’t choose this one but you have to lose some way, and Spain are a great team.”

The Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has called for one last great effort from his players in the final against either Germany or Italy after Cesc Fàbregas tucked away the decisive spot-kick.

Del Bosque told Uefa.com: “The players have played so many matches and they have to show their best in one more. It was a very even match but maybe we were a little better in extra-time.”


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