Portugal boss makes Cristiano Ronaldo retirement point after heartbreaking full-time gesture

Portugal boss makes Cristiano Ronaldo retirement point after heartbreaking full-time gesture

Cristiano Ronaldo was seen consoling his long-time Portugal team-mate and fellow Euro 2016 winner Pepe after the penalty shootout defeat to France in Hamburg on Friday

Ronaldo was seen consoling Pepe after the match

Ronaldo was seen consoling Pepe after the match

Portugal boss Roberto Martinez said the Euro 2024 penalty shootout defeat to France was still too raw to make answering questions on the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe possible.

Joao Felix was the fall guy as he sent his penalty kick against Mike Maignan’s post in Hamburg after Portugal’s second goalless 120 minutes of the knockout stages.

Whereas Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa was the hero in the last-16 when he saved all three of Slovenia’s penalties, by contrast France scored all five of theirs in the shootout, with full-back Theo Hernandez slotting the winner.

After the match Pepe, 41, was spotted in floods of tears in the arms of Ronaldo, 39, who had already confirmed that this would be his last Euros after the Slovenia game.

When asked about Pepe, Martinez said after the match: “His tears are frustration. Pepe is a role model in Portuguese football. What he did tonight and in the tournament will stay with us for the next generations.”

Martinez was then pressed on Ronaldo’s future and insisted: “It’s too soon and raw after the match to talk about that and there have been no individual decisions made.”

Elaborating on the defeat, he said: “We played well and created many opportunities. I am proud of the players, they showed great character.

Joao Felix reacts after missing from the spot for Portugal
Joao Felix reacts after missing from the spot for Portugal 
Image:
Getty Images)
“We had more of the ball and demonstrated lots of personality. We deserved to win and it’s a sad moment, but the players should be extremely proud of themselves.”

Portugal defender Ruben Dias said: “Penalties are always a lottery. They’ve been on our side before but they weren’t today.

“We need to keep a cool head and be aware of the level we played at. We’re out but we were very close to progressing and I see our team as increasingly capable and resourceful. We need to keep that in mind, because the majority of us will still be here [for future campaigns] and we’ll have new challenges.”

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