Martínez: Ronaldo yet to decide Portugal future

Portugal coach Roberto Martínez said it was “too soon” to say if Cristiano Ronaldo had played his last game for his country following the team’s Euro 2024 exit at the hands of France in Hamburg on Friday.

Portugal lost 5-3 to France on penalties in their quarterfinal after a goalless stalemate in which Ronaldo missed a glaring chance in extra time but converted one of the kicks in the shootout.

“It’s too soon and raw after the match to talk about that and there have been no individual decisions made,” Martínez said at a news conference when asked if it had been Ronaldo’s last game in a Portugal jersey.

Friday’s loss to France at the Volksparkstadion was Ronaldo’s 212th cap. His 130 goals for his country is by far the most in international football, with Lionel Messi recently moving into second on the list with 108.

However, the 39-year-old Ronaldo struggled to revive former glories at the tournament in Germany and departed Euro 2024 without scoring apart from in shootouts.

It was the first time in his career that Ronaldo had failed to score in a major international tournament, and his 10 shots without a goal are tied for the most without finding the net in a single Euros, matching Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne in 2016.

Ronaldo’s 20-year career in the Euros included the title in 2016 — when Portugal beat France in the final — and it remains to be seen if the five-time world player of the year will continue playing for his country through to the 2026 World Cup, when he will be 41.

He said following Portugal’s round-of-16 win over Slovenia that his record-breaking sixth European Championship would be his last.

“Without a doubt it’s the last Euro [for me], of course it is,” Ronaldo told Portugal TV’s RTP.

“But I’m not emotional about that. I’m moved by everything that football entails, by the enthusiasm I have for the game, the enthusiasm I see in the fans, having my family here, people’s passion … it’s not about leaving the world of football. What else is there for me to do or win?”

After the final whistle on Friday, centre-back Pepê collapsed sobbing into Ronaldo’s arms.

“I won’t say it publicly,” Pepe told TV station Canal 11, when asked what Ronaldo said to him. “But we feel it a lot. Contrary to what many people think, we feel it a lot.

“We feel the frustration of not winning a game, of being eliminated in such a big competition as the European Championship, knowing that we had a lot of quality to go through. That’s the pain we feel.”

About his own future, the 41-year-old added: “I will have the opportunity to speak in the future. I don’t want to speak about it 1720253308 because tomorrow people might be speaking about my future instead of talking about this process.”

Ronaldo has gone nine games without a goal for Portugal and missed a golden opportunity to score during extra time when Francisco Conceição broke behind the French defence and cut back a pass to Ronaldo just outside the 6-yard box.

However, Ronaldo launched the ball wildly over the crossbar — far from a fairytale ending, if it is indeed the end, of a record-breaking international career.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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