Ronaldo consoles a distraught Pepe as Portugal’s experienced players suffer a heartbreaking exit at Euro 2024

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Christiano Ronaldo fails to score in the game

This time, Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t the one shedding tears.

Instead, the Portugal star’s role was to comfort a teammate who was crying after a painful end to their latest European Championship — and possibly their last major international tournament.

Pepe, a defender still performing at a remarkable level for his country at 41 years old, was visibly upset as he wept on Ronaldo’s shoulder after Portugal’s loss to France in the quarterfinals in Hamburg on Friday.

Two stalwarts of Portuguese soccer, with a combined age of 80, sharing a poignant moment. “Football can be very harsh,” Pepe remarked.

Ronaldo himself shed tears at Euro 2024 — notably when he missed a penalty in extra time against Slovenia in the round of 16 just four days earlier. He also cried at the 2022 World Cup after Portugal’s defeat to Morocco in the quarterfinals.

Perhaps this time, he had no tears left. He gazed skyward, looking visibly disappointed and reflective.

Ronaldo will be 41 when the next major tournament comes around — the 2026 World Cup, hosted jointly by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Will he continue playing until then? He remains the captain of his country, boasting a men’s record of 130 international goals and 212 appearances.

He continues to play full games for Portugal. At Euro 2024, the only match he didn’t finish was against Georgia in the group stage, when he was substituted in the 66th minute with Portugal already assured of advancing. He played the entire 120 minutes against Slovenia and France.

Despite now playing his club football in Saudi Arabia, away from the global spotlight, Ronaldo has now gone eight games without scoring in major tournaments. This includes all five of Portugal’s matches at Euro 2024 and their final three at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Portugal players looks sad after the end of the game

He was tightly marked by France center backs William Saliba and Dayot Upamecano for most of the game. Ronaldo’s best chance came in extra time when he managed to break free from his defender, but he couldn’t direct his shot on goal from a cross delivered from the right.

Ronaldo scored his penalty in the shootout, but it wasn’t enough to save Portugal. Afterwards, he had to console Pepe.

“I won’t say publicly what he told me,” Pepe told TV station Canal 11. “But we feel it deeply. Contrary to what many think, we feel it deeply.”

“We feel the frustration of not winning, of being knocked out in such a big tournament like the European Championship, knowing we had the quality to go further. That’s the pain we’re feeling.”

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez shared similar sentiments, describing the tears as “tears of frustration.” “When you play against stronger teams, you understand. But this is difficult to accept,” Martinez said.

Martinez also mentioned that Ronaldo hadn’t made a decision about his future with the national team yet, saying it was “too raw” and emphasizing that Portugal suffered a defeat as a team — not just individually.

Pepe hinted at a possible future decision but didn’t elaborate.

“I will have a chance to talk about it in the future,” Pepe said. “I don’t want to talk about it now because tomorrow people might be talking about my future instead of focusing on this process.”

Ronaldo ends his European Championship career with a record 14 goals, five more than his closest competitor, Michel Platini, who scored all his goals in one tournament — Euro 1984, including two hat-tricks.

Ronaldo is the only player to participate in six editions of the European Championship. He had scored in every one before the current tournament in Germany.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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