Mon, Jun 20, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Cristiano Ronaldo vows to bounce back after missing penalty in goalless draw

AFP, PARIS

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a penalty against Austria in their Euro 2016 Group F match at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

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

Ronaldo hit the post from the penalty 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,” Ronaldo said. “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 Portugal’s opening match.

The Real Madrid star slotted the best chance of the first half wide and also saw a goal ruled out for offside, as Portugal failed to turn their pressure and possession into goals.

However, it was a night of mixed emotions for the 31-year-old, as he broke Portugal 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,” Ronaldo said. “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 FIFA World Player of the Year.

After sneaking past the Parc des Princes security to get on the pitch, Ronaldo waited while 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 offcolor start to the tournament for the world’s highest paid athlete.

“What player in football doesn’t make mistakes or miss chances?” Nani said. “We are fully confident in him.”

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