Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ronaldo: ´Without a doubt´ my last Euros

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jul 2024

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Cristiano Ronaldo has declared Euro 2024 will “without a doubt” be his last European Championships, after Portugal scraped past Slovenia to reach the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo missed chance after chance as Slovenia held on for a goalless draw in Monday’s last-16 tie, seeing an extra-time penalty turned away by goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was seen in tears at the extra-time interval, later saying he hit “rock bottom” at that moment.

However, he recovered to convert Portugal’s first kick of the shoot-out, while goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved all three of Slovenia’s efforts as the Selecao booked a quarter-final date with France.

Ronaldo is playing at his 11th major tournament (World Cup/Euros) and this is the first in which he failed to score a group-stage goal.

He is still yet to find the net with 20 shots at the tournament, with those efforts giving him a cumulative total of 2.75 expected goals (xG) – the second-most of any player.

Only Germany’s Kai Havertz, who has taken and scored two penalties, has accumulated a higher figure, with 3.75.

Ronaldo turned 39 in February and many have questioned whether this will be his final opportunity to win more international silverware.

He is certain he will not still be playing when Euro 2028 rolls around, telling RTP: “Without a doubt it’s the last Euros [for me], of course it is.”

Ronaldo dismissed the suggestion his extra-time tears were the result of him approaching the end of his career, saying: “I’m not emotional about that.

“I’m moved by everything that football entails, by the enthusiasm I have for the game, the enthusiasm I see in the fans, having my family here, people’s passion.

“It’s not about leaving the world of football. What else is there for me to do or win?”

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