Penalty shocker won’t get Ronaldo down


Paris (AFP) – Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo promised to bounce back from missing a penalty and the chance to break another goalscoring record at Euro 2016.

Ronaldo hit the post from the spot with 11 minutes remaining in a 0-0 draw with Austria on Saturday when looking to become the first player to score in four separate European Championships.

Portugal now need to win against Hungary in their final Group F match on Wednesday to be assured of qualifying for the knockout stage.

“I missed some chances – a penalty and some other chances, but that’s part of football. We need to continue to believe,” said Ronaldo.

“The players, we need to think that it’s still possible; if we win, we qualify. And also the Portuguese people, the fans who love Portugal, they also have to believe in it.

“The bad won’t last forever, so we need to believe that things will go better.”

Ronaldo has now missed 19 penalties in his storied career on another frustrating night in front of goal after a 1-1 draw with Iceland in Portgual’s opening game.

The Real Madrid star slotted the best chance of the first-half wide and also saw a goal ruled out for offside as Portugal couldn’t turn their pressure and possession into goals.

However, it was a night of mixed emotions for the 31-year-old, as he broke Portugese legend Luis Figo’s appearances record by winning his 128th cap.

Ronaldo is already Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 59 international goals.

“It’s a reason to be proud, reaching 128 international matches and beating the legendary Figo,” added Ronaldo.

“I know deep down he is also proud of that. Obviously it was a goal to be the most capped international player, and also to be the national team’s top scorer

“But obviously I’m a bit sad, because this wasn’t the way I wanted to break this record. The most beautiful way would have been…to win, and we couldn’t. We drew. So it was not how I envisaged it.”

Despite his disappointment, Ronaldo managed to leave one happy fan crying tears of joy after taking a selfie with the three-time World Player of the Year.

After sneaking past the Parc des Princes security to get on the pitch, Ronaldo waited whilst the lucky spectator juggled with his phone to take the snap as security guards stood and watched.

Ronaldo’s former Manchester United teammate Nani also hit the post after scoring Portugal’s only goal of the tournament so far against Iceland.

However, the Fenerbahce winger insisted their confidence in Ronaldo has not been knocked despite an off colour start to the tournament for the world’s highest paid athlete.

“What player in football doesn’t make mistakes or miss chances,” said Nani.

“We are fully confident in him.”

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