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Cristiano Ronaldo announces it is his ‘last Euro’ tournament, apologizes to fans

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Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid legend and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo experienced a night of mixed emotions in Frankfurt while playing against Slovenia. 

Even though Portugal secured a spot in the quarter-finals, Ronaldo left the field feeling both happy and sad. At one point, he was so overwhelmed that he cried. 

He put in a tremendous effort to score, coming very close several times, but was repeatedly thwarted by Slovenia’s goalkeeper, Jan Oblak whose performance, especially saving a penalty in extra time, made him the standout hero of the match.

It was set up to be a perfect moment for Ronaldo. With the game tied in extra time, Portugal were awarded a penalty, thanks to Diogo Jota’s efforts. This was Ronaldo’s chance to shine and secure a win for his team. 

He stepped up to take the crucial penalty, which could have put Portugal in the lead. Ronaldo aimed his shot to Oblak’s left, but the Slovenian goalkeeper made an incredible save, diving and stretching to deflect the ball away.

In the end, the match went to a penalty shoot-out. Ronaldo took the first penalty for Portugal and scored, setting the tone for his team. The pressure then shifted to Portugal’s goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, who made three consecutive saves.

A bitter-sweet night for Ronaldo

After the match, Ronaldo addressed the fans and his team, asking for forgiveness for not scoring the penalty in extra time. 

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty against Slovenia. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

He acknowledged that such moments are a part of football. Despite the missed opportunity, the team’s qualification to the next round was a significant achievement.

“Initial sadness and joy at the end, that’s what football gives you,” Ronaldo told Teledeporte.

These are inexplicable moments. I had the chance to put the national team ahead and I didn’t manage it. Oblak made a good save. 

“I had to review the penalty, I don’t know if I shot well or badly, but during the year I didn’t miss a single time and when I needed it most, Oblak saved it. 

“The most important thing is to enjoy qualifying, the team did an extraordinary job, we fought until the end and if you analyse the match well, Portugal deserved it because they had more chances,” he added. 

Looking ahead, Ronaldo spoke about the upcoming challenge against France, led by Kylian Mbappe. He emphasized that Portugal is determined to fight until the very end. 

“Now we’re going to have a tough match against France, who are one of the favourites to win. But we’re going to fight, the team is good and I’m always going to give my best with this shirt.

“France will be difficult, we must go to war,” he said.

Ronaldo’s last Euro

Lastly, Ronaldo went on to admit that Euro 2024 would be his final continental championship, marking the end of an era for one of football’s greatest players in the competition.

“It’s certainly my last Euro. But I’m not moved by that, I’m moved by everything that football entails. 

“The enthusiasm I have for the game, the excitement of seeing my fans, and my family, the affection that people have for me. It’s not because I’m leaving football, because if I do, what else is there for me to do or win? 

“It’s not going to come down to one more point or one less point. Making people happy is what motivates me the most,” he explained.

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Real Madrid News

Former Real Madrid defender breaks silence on possible return rumours

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s left-back situation this summer is filled with intrigue. The futures of Ferland Mendy and Fran Garcia are uncertain, while long-time target Alphonso Davies has yet to be signed.

Amidst this uncertainty, Miguel Gutierrez has emerged as a potential candidate for Real Madrid, with the Castilla graduate impressing during his time at Girona.

Gutierrez opens up about potential homecoming

The 22-year-old left-back departed Real Madrid for Girona in the summer of 2022 for a modest fee of €4 million.

However, as is customary practice with many young academy graduates departing the club, Madrid astutely negotiated a 50% sell-on clause in his Girona contract.

The Merengues also integrated a cost-effective buyback option of just €8 million, making his potential return to the club this summer a stark possibility.

Gutierrez has done well at Girona. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Touching upon the possibility of a return, Gutierrez acknowledged Real Madrid’s buyback option, expressing his lifelong support for the club. However, he emphasized focusing on the present, particularly the upcoming Olympic Games.

“It is true that Real Madrid have a buyback option that depends on them, but I have always been a Real Madrid fan, and it is a pleasure for me to have my name appear there,” he told EFE Deportes.

“But this is something that must be left aside and focused on what matters now, which is the Olympic Games.”

As an underlapping full-back with tremendous qualities in possession, Gutierrez has the potential to offer something different compared to the likes of Mendy and Garcia.

However, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid can get their hands on Davies, as his arrival would likely imperil the Spaniard’s chances of joining.

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