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Fearless Sanches had no nerves in dramatic shootout

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jun 2016

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Renato Sanches insists the nerves were not jangling after the fearless teenage nailed his spot-kick in Portugal’s thrilling penalty shootout victory over Poland in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

The teenage midfielder had a night to remember in Marseille after scoring the equaliser to cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s opener at the Stade Velodrome.

Penalties were needed after there were no more goals and Sanches once again showed his fearless attitude by coolly converting Portugal’s second attempt.

His was one of five successful kicks for Portugal who beat Poland 5-3 in the shootout to book a semi-final against Wales or Belgium, and have done so without winning a match inside 90 minutes.

“It was the gaffer who decided [the order],” he told a news conference after collecting the Man of the Match award. 

“Cristiano [Ronaldo] went first and I went second, I was confident enough to do it.

“I was just thinking about scoring, I was very cool and collected.  I did what I always do, picked a side and put it in there.”

Sanches earned back-to-back Man of the Match prizes after also earning the accolade in Portugal’s last-16 win over Croatia.

But the youngster, who will play for Bayern Munich next season, insists team success is more important than individual recognition.

“It is important to receive individual accolades. I am happy to be man of the match again, but the individual comes after the team,” he added. 

“That is how you build up a CV. It takes a lot of hard work to be this lucky. Sometimes we are bound to be lucky because we have worked very hard.”

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