Ronaldo gives Courtois ‘lucky’ message in Portugal defeat
Cristiano Ronaldo told Thibaut Courtois that Belgium were “lucky” to beat Portugal in their Euro 2020 last 16 clash on Sunday.
Thorgan Hazard’s first half goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Belgium and knock out the defending champions in Seville.
Portugal threw everything at their opponents in the last 20 minutes in particular and ended the game with 23 attempts to Belgium’s six.
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Raphael Guerriero hit the post in the final few minutes and there were a number of other very presentable opportunities spurned.
Ronaldo’s frustration was clear as he walked from the pitch at full-time, throwing his captain’s armband on the floor in anger.
And just before, he approached Courtois and said: “Lucky eh? The ball didn’t want to get in today.”
Ronaldo will have to wait to beat Ali Daai’s international goalscoring record, which he equalled in the group stages of the competition.
The closest he came to adding to his five goals at Euro 2020 was a first half free-kick, which was comfortable saved by the Belgium goalkeeper and probably shouldn’t have been taken by Ronaldo in any case.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos also bemoaned the result, believing his side had the better of the game.
He said: “There are players crying in the changing room. They gave everything. Belgium had 6 shots, we had 29. Sincerely I don’t have many words.
“We believed if we won this one, we would have gone on to win the next one. They scored, we didn’t. It’s football.”
Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen did concede that his side were perhaps lucky to get over the line.
“In the first half we were playing high and putting pressure on Portugal, but looking at that second half, we are lucky to win,” he said.
“Portugal made it really hard for us. We had to really stay focused. It has cost us a lot of energy, but we have some time to recover and now we are looking forward to the game against Italy.”
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Belgium will now take on Italy in the last eight in what will be a mouthwatering encounter in Munich.