Portugal winger Nani has revealed that his captain Cristiano Ronaldo demanded to take the last penalty against Spain in the Euro 2012 semi-final shootout.
Due to failed attempts from Joao Moutinho and Bruno Alves, the Real Madrid star was denied his opportunity to take part in the spot-kick drama, with the eventual winners progressing after Cesc Fabregas’ decisive goal sealed a 4-2 win.
The Manchester United man says there was no controversy over the selection and order of the penalty takers, but that Ronaldo wanted to to take the fifth kick.
“I don’t think there was any controversy or any mistakes,” the 25-year-old told the Times of India.
“Cristiano demanded the last penalty. I said to the coach I would accept any order. It didn’t seem to be a problem to me, because penalty shoot-outs are all about luck and we did not deserve to lose like that.”
Despite exiting at the last four, Nani feels that Paulo Bento’s men can be proud of their efforts in Poland and Ukraine.
“We obviously left the tournament disappointed because we came so close, but we can also have some satisfaction with what we did there.
“We really gave it all we had. We showed a lot of quality. In the end Spain simply had more luck than we did because when it comes to penalties that’s all it’s about.
“They are great champions but I think in the semi-final we deserved to beat them. So people in Portugal can be proud of the team.
“We are sad as we deserved to be in the final - but we went home with our heads held high,” he concluded.
Spain went on to beat Italy 4-0 in the final to claim their third major consecutive international trophy.
First Published: Saturday, July 07, 2012, 15:49