Advertisement

Ray-Ray McCloud Reflects on 49ers' 2024 Super Bowl Loss: ‘To Win You Got to Lose Sometimes’

"I don't want to play anywhere else right now. We have a great team," the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver tells PEOPLE

<p>Steph Chambers/Getty</p> Ray-Ray McCloud III #3 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

As the confetti settled and the stadium emptied, Ray-Ray McCloud found himself amidst the aftermath of a hard-fought 2024 Super Bowl loss. While the outcome of the San Francisco 49ers vs. Kanas City Chiefs championship game didn't align with wide receiver's dreams, he cherishes the invaluable experience of competing in Las Vegas.

"We lost. Obviously, it was a hurtful feeling, but I've lost national championships. I lost big games my whole life, a lot of them. But obviously, in order to win, you got to lose sometimes," McCloud, 27, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.

His comments to PEOPLE come one week after he noted on Instagram that "we all know this is not the outcome we set out for." He wrote, "So thankful for the brothers God Has put in my life to go to battle with! [...But] lord knows we put it on the line everyday. I love yall boys to the fullest. Wouldn’t want to be in this position with anyone else. Love yall."

With the Super Bowl now behind him, McCloud, who signed a two-year deal with the 49ers in March 2022, emphasizes the importance of resetting and refocusing for the upcoming season. And despite currently being a free agent, he expresses unwavering loyalty to his current team, unable to envision himself playing for any other franchise.

"Emotions didn't really hit until later, but for me, it's now about resetting, refocusing and getting ready for next season or wherever God lands me next year," McCloud says now. "If I'm there, of course. If I'm wherever I'm at, we're going to whoop it."

"But for now, I'm focused on the present," he continues. "I don't want to play anywhere else right now. We have a great team. Hopefully, they bring me back. Let's see. God has a way of working things out, so we'll see where he places me and where he wants my energy focused. But they have the team, coaches and everything to get it done."

Related: Kansas City Chiefs Beat San Francisco 49ers in Overtime to Win Second Super Bowl in a Row

<p>Greg Doherty/WireImage</p> Ray-Ray McCloud III attends Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace big game after party celebrating the release of "Coming Home" by Usher and "Gin & Juice" by Dre and Snoop at Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Greg Doherty/WireImage

Ray-Ray McCloud III attends Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace big game after party celebrating the release of "Coming Home" by Usher and "Gin & Juice" by Dre and Snoop at Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Looking back on how the game ended, McCloud says that he felt pretty confused. He says the team thought they had it, only to watch a potential win slip out of their hands during overtime. "It's like once they score, game over, nothing else. And I think that was the most confusing part, how it just ended so fast, the game and the lights cut off," he says.

This year, the NFL added new overtime rules where both teams will have the chance to possess the ball. During the coin toss, the 49ers decided to possess the ball first. While McCloud says he went into the overtime period familiar with the new rules and ready to play, he felt the pressure, knowing one play could determine the game's outcome.

At the end of the day, the athlete adds that he respected his coach Kyle Shanahan's decision to take the ball first. McCloud says, "Every coach has certain ways to do things. That's what he thought was the best. So we go with it, he's our leader, we going to go with what he says."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.