Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has called on Portugal fans to keep believing in the team despite their unimpressive performance in the Euro 2016 Championship so far.
Nani went close in the 29 minutes for Portugal but was denied by the woodworks while goalkeeper Robert Almer repeatedly thwarted Ronaldo’s efforts from open play. Ronaldo flunged Portgual’s chance of winning their first game in the Euro 2016 when he struck the upright with a 79th-minute penalty as Austria held on to share the spoils.
It was a bittersweet night for PRonaldo, who who broke Luis Figo’s Portugal appearance record.
“[Breaking Luís Figo’s Portugal appearance record] is a reason to be proud. It was a goal to be the most-capped international player and to be the national team’s top scorer. But I’m a bit sad because this wasn’t the way I wanted to break this record. We wanted to win. This was not how I envisaged it.
“We had a lot of chances and we did well, but we weren’t able to finish. I also missed some chances – a penalty and some others. But that’s part of football.
“We need to continue to believe, and once again thank the Portuguese fans who were here and also the ones who were supporting us from elsewhere. I’m sure Portugal will give their best in the next match, and if you try you’ll always make it.
“We, the players, need to think that it’s still possible; if we win, we qualify. And also the Portuguese people, the fans who love Portugal, they also have to believe. The bad won’t last forever, so we need to believe that things will get better.” Ronaldo is quoted as saying on UEFA.com
Portugal also need to win to guarantee their passage through to the last 16. Group F leaders Hungary await at the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday, hoping to become the third team to frustrate Ronaldo and co.
Austria know that they need to beat Iceland to have any hope of qualifying for the last 16. They remain in Paris for that one, stepping out at the Stade de France on Wednesday.