Cristiano Ronaldo receives message from Sadio Mane after bursting into tears at Euro 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo was in floods of tears after missing from the spot
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Sadio Mane has hailed Al-Nassr teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, calling him "a great champion" after Ronaldo's missed penalty in Portugal's last 16 match against Slovenia.

In an unexpectedly emotional moment during extra-time of the game, Ronaldo saw his penalty saved by Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Ronaldo's shot ricocheted off the post, leaving him visibly moved and shedding tears at halftime during the additional period.

Despite Ronaldo's initial disappointment, his Portuguese teammates rallied round him, with their combined effort propelling the team into the quarter-finals. Ronaldo managed to scrape back some personal redemption when he scored a goal during the penalty shootout.

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Lending his support, Al-Nassr ace and Liverpool legend Mane shared a post on his Instagram story and told Ronaldo: "You remain a great champion".

Ronaldo had previously tasted international glory with Portugal at the Euros several years ago and was clearly upset at the prospect of letting his team down with his 12-yard miss. He expressed candidly: "Even the strongest people have their [bad] days. I was at rock bottom when the team needed me the most.

"Sadness at the start is joy at the end. That's what football is. Moments, inexplicable moments. I feel sad and happy at the same time. But the important thing is to enjoy it. The team did an extraordinary job. We fought right to the end and I think we deserved it because we had more authority."

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's iconic presence in the Portugal squad, it was goalkeeper Diogo Costa who stole the limelight. The Porto shot-stopper was instrumental, saving all three penalties from Slovenia to pave the way for his team to progress.

He expressed his admiration for Ronaldo, saying: "We all know that Cristiano is the hardest worker. I understand how frustrated he is because he devotes all his time to this. It's a pleasure and an honour to be on the same team as him. We're a family, I really think this. I focus on making the best of these chances and I wanted to help the team. This is the most important thing. This is probably the best game of my life."