July 19, 2024, 3:31 am

Sports Correspondent

2024-07-06 10:23:02 BdST

France Beat Portugal On Penalty ShootoutPortugal exit Euros with pride, will return stronger: Martinez

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez said his team lost with "pride" against France in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals on Friday, pledging they would come back stronger.

The Spaniard said his team put in their best performance of the tournament in Hamburg as France gained revenge for their 2016 final defeat with a 5-3 penalty triumph following a goalless draw after extra time.

"(We showed we are) a team that can suffer, but wants to win for the fans," Martinez told SportTV.

"We lost, but with pride, in the Portuguese style of giving everything."

Martinez said the team's younger players would improve as a result of the tense clash at the Volksparkstadion.

"Our players will grow a lot from this experience," continued Martinez.

"The personality, the chances, how we created danger in the final third.

"It was a performance that makes us look to the future with great pride."

The coach praised 41-year-old defender Pepe, the oldest player in the tournament's history, who appeared in tears at the end of the match.

"He was a warrior... what Pepe did today and in the tournament was exemplary," added Martinez.

Pepe said he would talk about his future with the national team at a later juncture.

"I'll have time to talk about my future, we have to get over this huge pain, we had the ability to win the competition, and now we have to lift our heads up," said the centre-back.

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo, 39, failed to score in five appearances and has now gone nine major tournament games without finding the net.

Ronaldo was playing in a record-extending sixth Euros and is the competition's all-time top goalscorer with 14 strikes.

Asked if this was the Al Nassr forward's last game for his country, Martinez said it was too soon to think about that.

"We just finished the game, everything is still too raw, we're suffering a defeat as a team, there's no individual decisions at this point," Martinez told reporters.

The former Everton and Wigan coach said his team "deserved to win" against the 2018 World Cup winners.

"Today was a great game, an amazing performance," he added.

"Tonight is not the night to look at errors, the only mistake is that the ball did not go in."

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