Ronaldo: ‘We were in dire straits’

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo said that his side were in “dire straits” as they battled back three times from a goal behind to qualify for the knockout stage at Euro 2016.

Two goals from Ronaldo, one a sublime flick from a cross, and one from Nani saw Portugal earn a 3-3 draw with Hungary and squeak through to the last 16 after finishing third in Group F.

Portugal will now face Croatia in Lens on Saturday for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo, who was filmed throwing a reporter’s microphone into a lake earlier in the day, refused to take questions from reporters after the game and instead read from a statement.

“We played a good match, it was a little insane – Hungary scored and then Portugal scored – and it was very hot,” the statement said. “Personally I was happy as the team was in dire straits – three times we had to chase down the score and three times we came back.

“It’s for me a privilege to be named man of the match but our priority was to win the match and we failed to do that. The bottom line is that we wanted to qualify.”

The two goals took Ronaldo’s total in European Championships to eight and also saw him become the first-ever player to score at four tournaments, but he said that making it through to the knockout stage was more important than any personal record.

“This is another record but, like I always say, that comes naturally. Of course, I cannot say I’m not happy as these are good records. But the priority was to make it through,” he said.

He added that Portugal would respect Croatia and added that both teams had an equal chance of progressing.

“Croatia are a good team but the odds are 50-50 and whoever plays the best match will go through. Not every team manages to beat Spain so we respect them.”

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