Portugal 0 France 0 (3-5 pens): Cristiano Ronaldo’s last Euros ends in penalty heartache as Chelsea flop misses key kick

CRISTIANO RONALDO’S record breaking Euros career is over, this last outing is remembered only for tears.

His sixth Euros, brought to an end by France on penalties, did not bring a goal, just a missed spot kick against Slovenia and some famous waterworks.

Joao Felix missed the crucial penalty in the shootout

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Joao Felix missed the crucial penalty in the shootoutCredit: Getty
France were perfect from the spot

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France were perfect from the spotCredit: Getty
France qualified for the semi-finals

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France qualified for the semi-finalsCredit: Getty
Mike Maignan denied Bruno Fernandes during normal time

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Mike Maignan denied Bruno Fernandes during normal timeCredit: Reuters

He scored in both Portugal‘s shootouts – but was anonymous here and could do nothing as Joao Felix’s fluffed pen sent them packing.

Kylian Mbappe dreamed of sending his idol home, but played little part – watching from the bench after getting another smack to the nose.

But his France side stumble on, to Spain in the semi-final, still here remarkably without a goal from open play.

This contest had the record-breaking distance before, and a ball was kicked. Two teams struggling for goals despite their attacking talent.

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They could not be separated after a turgid first half nor a more frenetic second.

When all the focus was on Ronaldo and Mbappe, it was the men at the back standing out. Mike Maignan, William Saliba and pensioner Pepe all excellent.

Despite going 120 minutes to get here, Portugal were unchanged from their penalty shootout win over Slovenia.

Deschamps, however, made two changes. One was enforced, Eduardo Camavinga replacing the suspended Adrien Rabiot while Randal Kolo Muani, effectively the match-winner against Belgium, replaced Marcus Thuram.

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Ousmane Dembele showed supreme confidence by stepping up first and scoring in the penalty shootout

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Ousmane Dembele showed supreme confidence by stepping up first and scoring in the penalty shootoutCredit: AFP

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It was a fourth change to the faltering forward line in four games from Deschamps – and another that did not work.

France’s plodding football to reach this point gave little encouragement that this would be a firecracker from the off.

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Portugal dominated possession and Les Bleus looked a threat on the break but neither were creating clear cut chances.

Bruno Fernandes saw the first effort of the encounter deflected behind from range after 16 minutes, with Theo Hernandez also taking a punt from distance which was easily stopped by Diogo Costa.

Jules Kounde had been the man of the match against Belgium, excelling at both ends of the pitch, but was being given the run-around by the electric Rafael Leao in Hamburg.

France have been nothing if not consistent in Germany, their array of stars serving up some truly turgid football at times.

At the break everyone was still waiting for this tie which should have been a classic to kick into gear.

Portugal were putting on a more attractive display, there had been moments when they combined to get in behind but Saliba was impressive in snuffing them out.

Mbappe looked livelier after emerging for the restart.

He exchanged a swift one-two with Kante on the edge of the box before bending an effort into the arms of Costa.

France were finally offering more.

Hernandez broke in behind and cut a low cross along the six-yard line but no one in white was there to meet it.

Just when Mbappe looked to be getting into gear, his night took a turn for the worse.

Bernardo Silva’s header from a corner crashed straight into the side of Mbappe’s head, dislodged his mask and left him writing in pain and looking like he was seeing stars.

But he has vowed to continue to put his neck – or nose – on the line for France and he was quickly back on, though he would not make it to the end.

Mbappe’s knock took the sting out of France’s fast start to the second half.


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Joao Cancelo started probing down the right and soon found a superb ball, slid through for Fernandes.

The Manchester United captain galloped into space in the French penalty area but his low strike was well saved by Maignan before a loose ball fell to Cancelo who fired well wide.

That opening filled Martinez’s men with belief. Leao was running again, cutting inside and pulling the ball back for Vitinha – though his effort from close range was again stopped by Maignan, who quickly smothered Ronaldo as he looked to bundle the ball in from a yard out.

Finally we had a contest, with far more pace and space.

Just as Portugal were turning the screw, Kounde and Muani appeared at the other end in a flash, combining well to send the Paris Saint-Germain man through on goal.

He shaped to strike, but Ruben Dias was there to block, just as Nuno Mendes was to stop Mbappe a moment later.

Deschamps sensed the space opening up and sent on Ousmane Dembele.

The sub should have had an assist for the opener within minutes. Kolo Muani found him in space down the right and the ball was cut in for Camavinga just yards out but he fired past the far post.

Martinez responded – introducing Francisco Conceicao and Nelson Semedo, the former replacing Fernandes with 15 minutes remaining.

It is likely Cristiano Ronaldo's last ever Euros match

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It is likely Cristiano Ronaldo’s last ever Euros matchCredit: Reuters

It was getting frantic, Silva and Conceicao breaking down the right, with the sub barged over by Saliba – though Ronaldo sent the free-kick straight into the wall.

At the other end Mbappe was trying to prevent extra time, but his tired effort was collected and another 30 minutes ordered by ref Michael Oliver.

Ronaldo had his first clear-cut chance of the night minutes into extra time but almost found the second tier from Conceicao’s cutback.

Everyone knew this was do or die, Pepe let out a huge celebration when blocking from Mbappe. There was cause for celebration from his counterparts as Dayot Upamecano blocked from Leao.

Mbappe, still feeling the impact on his broken nose from the second half, was incredibly hooked at half time in extra time.

It got Portugal’s tails up, Felix heading into the side netting from Semedo’s cross while Mendes had the chance to win it in the final minute but scuffed an effort straight at Maignan.

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It was penalties in front of the Portugal end.

The first five were excellent before Felix clattered the post, the only spot-kick to separate them.

Pepe was in tears at the result

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Pepe was in tears at the resultCredit: AFP

Who is Euro 2024’s sexiest star?

EURO 2024 has something for everyone from stunning goals, thrilling matches… and the continent’s biggest hunks, writes Jack Figg.

Several stars have lit up the group stages with their skills on the pitch – but others are also catching the eye for their looks.

But who is the sexiest?

Thankfully AI boffins have carried out an analysis on the facial attractiveness of all players at the tournament.

And it’s bad news for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions who are the fourth UGLIEST in the competition – one place below Scotland.

In fact it’s England’s group rivals Serbia who have fans swooning the most – boasting an average score of 77.90/100 with defender Strahinja Pavlovic deemed their most attractive.

While Turkey defender Mert Muldur has been ranked as the tournament’s BEST-LOOKING player.

But who is England’s sexiest star, and who makes the Euros’ hunkiest XI? Read our full story.

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