Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Ronaldo’s Emotional Rollercoaster: From Heartbreak to Heroics as Portugal Advances

As Jan Oblak’s hand tipped Cristiano Ronaldo’s extra-time penalty onto the post, the Portuguese legend’s dreams seemed shattered in an instant. The 39-year-old, who later confirmed this would be his last Euros, bowed his head and burst into tears as his teammates rushed to console him, with Slovenia threatening one of the biggest shocks in European Championship history.

Ronaldo’s penalty miss in extra time left the last-16 tie goalless, seemingly signaling a cruel end to his storied European Championship career. However, just 15 minutes later, he returned to the same spot to score the first of Portugal’s shootout kicks.

Goalkeeper Diogo Costa then made Euros history with three penalty shootout saves, helping Portugal survive a humiliating exit and secure a quarter-final tie with France. Ronaldo’s tears of despair turned into tears of joy and relief.

“Even the strongest people have their bad days. I was at rock bottom when the team needed me the most,” Ronaldo said afterward, visibly emotional. “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.”

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