‘80 million penalty choker’ Ronaldo blamed for Portugal’s Euro SF exit

Updated: Jun 28, 2012, 15:08 PM IST

Sydney: Cristiano Ronaldo became the first target of the blame game, following Portugal’s penalty shootout exit from the Euro Cup semifinal at the hands of reigning champions Spain.

The decision to install Ronaldo as the fifth penalty taker also attracted derisive criticism from fans and experts, as the Real Madrid star was reduced to a mere spectator after his team mates had missed two earlier penalties, which handed Spain a spot in their third consecutive final with a 4-2 score line.

Cesc Fabregas scored the winning penalty for Spain.

“Still trying to work out if Ronaldo is the world`s biggest glory-hunting egotist...or just an 80 million penalty choker,” Piers Morgan was quoted as saying.

Former Norwegian player Jan Aage Fjortoft tweeted: “Portugal like a soap- opera in the penalty- shoot out; Ronaldo not shooting - Nani and Alves couldn’t agree who should shoot when...”

Ex-stars from other sports also questioned the decision to give Ronaldo the fifth penalty kick.

“Can someone answer me why Portugal’s best penalty kicker was the last to kick? Surely the best goes first? A defender kicking before him????” said former tennis player Pat Cash.

Football analyst Francis Awaritefe said: “I would`ve thought best penalty takers usually feature early rather than late in shoot out. Lots of debate is Ronaldo as 5th taker for POR.”