Cristiano Ronaldo said that he was proud of his team’s efforts after their round of 16 exit against Belgium. Belgium got the lead through a sublime long range short by Thorgan Hazard just before halftime.
After the opener, the game was more or less dominated by Portugal but despite hitting the post twice, Fernando Santos’ men couldn’t find the equaliser.
“We did not get the result we wanted and we leave the competition sooner than expected,” the 36-year-old Juventus star and five-time Ballon d’or winner admitted as his side failed to match their 2016 exploits. “But we are proud of our showing. We did everything we could to retain the title of European champions and this group proved it could still give the Portuguese people much joy,” the former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker posted on social media after Sunday’s loss.
A lot of Portuguese players who have increased their clout in the last 1 or 2 years such as Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias had poor outings at the finals. Unlike them, Cristiano Ronaldo had a good tournament. He scored 5 goals and broke a lot of records in the process. He not only went past Michel Platini’s record of most goals in the tournament’s history but also went on par with Ali Daei’s long standing record of 109 international goals.
Ronaldo scored five goals in total, including two goals against France and one goal against Germany. He may have score 3 penalties in total, but one has to admire his drive at this age. He is currently the leading scorer of the tournament.
“Congratulations to Belgium and good luck to all the teams left in. As for us, we shall return stronger,” vowed the veteran who at least could console himself with having matched the 109 international goals record of Iran’s Ali Daei during the tournament.
Belgium are one of the favourites to win the Euros following the round of 16 exits of France and Portugal. Netherlands is another major team who was surprisingly knocked out early. Belgium will face Italy in the quarter finals who have been quite impressive themselves.