The defending champions of the UEFA European Championships were eliminated by Roberto Martinez’s Belgium in Seville on Sunday. Despite their dominance for large parts of the game, Portugal didn’t have anything to show for.
Thorgan Hazard’s scorcher from outside the box was ultimately enough to decide the result and seal Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal’s exit. At full-time, the Selecao skipper was pictured having an exchange with Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois.
After the game, a clip posted by the official UEFA Euro 2020 Twitter account revealed further details about this exchange. An exasperated Cristiano Ronaldo told the Real Madrid goalkeeper;
“Lucky, eh? [The ball] didn’t want to go in today. Good luck man.”
Cristiano Ronaldo also took to Instagram to put out an emotional message in the aftermath of their elimination from Euro 2020.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we’re proud of our journey, we gave everything to defend the title. We left the competition earlier than we wanted.”
“Our fans were tireless in supporting the team from start to finish. We ran and fought for them, in order to live up to the trust they placed in us. It was not possible to get where we all wanted, but here is our sincere and profound thanks.”
Portugal failed to retain their UEFA Euro crown after their elimination at the hands of Belgium, who will go on to face Italy in the quarter-finals.
Euro 2020 exit could accelerate Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer plans
With Euro 2020 out of the way, the much-debated topic of Cristiano Ronaldo’s future could finally be resolved. It has been widely reported that the 36-year-old and Juventus will look to part ways this summer after a three-year association.
The Bianconeri purchased Cristiano Ronaldo for a staggering €117m from Real Madrid back in 2018. While he’s won trophies aplenty since then, their failure to win the UEFA Champions League has been one of the major talking points of this spell.
After an unsuccessful campaign in Turin, Cristiano Ronaldo could be on the move and has been linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
20 – Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first European player in World Cup and European Championship history to score a combined 20 goals across the two competitions. Greatest. #POR #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/UX7rWGZMyJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 23, 2021
The Red Devils’ superstar midfielder Paul Pogba could also be on the move, with reports claiming the two clubs could work out a swap deal. Elsewhere with Kylian Mbappe linked with Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo could also serve as an immediate replacement should the Frenchman leave.
It remains to be seen where his long-term future lies. Whatever the future holds for the Portuguese icon, his future could be cleared out in the coming weeks.