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    Cristiano Ronaldo consoles Pepe as veteran defender cries on Portugal captain’s shoulders after Euro 2024 elimination | Football News


    France sealed a dramatic 5-3 shootout win against Portugal in their UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final clash, in Hamburg on Friday. It was a close-fought fixture as the match ended 0-0 after extra-time. It was also a record sixth European Championship for 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, who had to end up consoling teammate Pepe, who is 41-years-old and probably played in his final international tournament.

    Cristiano Ronaldo comforts Portugal’s Pepe.(AFP)

    Pepe was visibly distraught and was in tears as he cried on Ronaldo’s shoulders. Here is the video:

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    Kylian Mbappe didn’t even take part in the penalty shootout, as he was substituted after the first-half of extra-time following a knock on his broken nose that was covered with a protective mask.

    After the win, France goalkeeper Mike Maignan said, “It wasn’t easy. We didn’t always play that great, it was a complicated game. We played well defensively. We got to the penalty shootout and didn’t waver. We can be proud of ourselves.”

    France will face Spain in the semi-finals, who defeated hosts Germany in their quarter-final, courtesy of Mikel Merino extra-time goal in a 1-0 win.

    Speaking after the win, Merino said, “I knew that there was very little time left and that it was one of the last attacks we would have. I didn’t believe that it had gone in until a couple of seconds later. When you get 30 slaps on your back it sinks in real quick. I am very happy for me and the entire team. It all comes down to one moment (the goal), but there is so much work behind it, all the training, the hope, the faith, and the belief in ourselves.”

    Meanwhile, German midfielder Toni Kroos said, “We were so close, that’s what makes it so bitter. To be honest, right now the main feeling is that the tournament is over, because we all had a big goal that we wanted to achieve together. And this dream we all had has been simply shattered now.”

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