(LEFT) Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after failing to score during the quarter-final against France at the Euro 2024 tournament in Hamburg; (RIGHT) Ronaldo consoles Pepe.(LEFT) Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after failing to score during the quarter-final against France at the Euro 2024 tournament in Hamburg; (RIGHT) Ronaldo consoles Pepe.
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In a gripping quarterfinal showdown at Euro 2024, Cristiano Ronaldo’s quest for European Championship glory with Portugal concluded in anguish as France triumphed in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout. The 39-year-old Ronaldo, who announced this tournament would be his final European Championship appearance, saw his team suffer a heartbreaking 5-3 defeat in the shootout early on Saturday.

The match, a clash between two footballing giants, saw France emerge victorious after all their penalty takers successfully converted their shots. In contrast, Portugal’s Joao Felix endured agony as his decisive penalty struck the upright, sealing his team’s fate and sending them home.

Reflecting on his final European Championship campaign, Ronaldo expressed his mixed emotions. “It is, without doubt, my last European Championship. But I’m not emotional about that. I’m moved by all that football means — by the enthusiasm I have for the game, the enthusiasm for seeing my supporters, my family, the affection people have for me,” Ronaldo shared after Portugal’s earlier triumph against Slovenia.

The match was a poignant moment for Ronaldo, who had led Portugal to Euro glory in 2016 by defeating France in the final. Following the shootout loss, Ronaldo stood visibly emotional on the field, offering solace to his distraught teammate Pepe before heading to the tunnel.

For France, the victory was a sigh of relief, especially after talisman Kylian Mbappe was substituted before the shootout due to a facial injury sustained earlier in the game. Despite this setback, France’s resilience shone through, setting up a semifinal clash with Spain, who secured their spot with a hard-fought extra-time victory over Germany.

As Ronaldo bids farewell to the European Championship stage, his legacy as one of football’s greatest will endure, marked by numerous records and memorable triumphs. The tournament moves forward with France poised for another shot at glory, while Ronaldo’s journey ends with Portugal, leaving fans to cherish the moments he graced the Euros with his extraordinary talent.

Stay tuned for more updates as Euro 2024 continues to unfold, promising more drama and unforgettable moments on the road to crowning a new champion.


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