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Nani: Ronaldo Demanded To Take Last Pen

The semi-final between Spain and Portugal ended in a draw meaning a penalty shoot-out decided who would be in the final.

The Portuguese side seemingly forgot their order, with Bruno Alves almost reaching the penalty spot before Nani caught up with him to take his place. Nani took an excellent penalty but Alves missed his and Spain won.

The decisions to leave Cristiano Ronaldo until last came under much criticism, with people claiming the former United man wanted all the glory for himself and it backfired. It’s a strange one because no one criticised Chelsea for allowing Didier Drogba to be the 5th penalty taker in the 2012 Champions League final or Steven Gerrard being the 5th in the 2005 Champions League final.

Ronaldo claimed after the game that manager Paul Bento decided on the order but Nani has given a different version of events.

“Cristiano Ronaldo demanded the last penalty,” said Nani. “I said to the coach I would accept any order. It didn’t seem to be a problem to me, because penalty shoot-outs are all about luck and we did not deserve to lose like that. I think we can take pride, showed how good we are against the world champions and I believe we warranted our place in the final. But we look good for the future.”

Did Ronaldo want all the glory or did he think he was best equipped to handle the pressure of the final penalty? Maybe a bit of both. It can be assumed that if Ronaldo hadn’t taken the last penalty and left it to Alves, who missed, everyone would be questioning why the captain didn’t stand up to take the most pressured penalty.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Costas says:

    Everyone’s a critic.

  2. chiko_mufc_mondlane says:

    Great assessment by you nani
    I’m starting to like you and becoming more mature as hell

    It sure your didn’t deserve to lose
    But if you struggle to beat spain on footy then on penalty your should. Only my view, but great tournament all round by the your

  3. chiko_mufc_mondlane says:

    By the your lol

  4. edcunited1878 says:

    Fabregas wanted the fifth spot kick like Ronaldo. Its the luck of the draw and part of the cruelty of PKs.

  5. edcunited1878 says:

    Fabregas wanted the fifth spot kick like Ronaldo. Its the luck of the draw and part of the cruelty of PKs.

  6. Costas says:

    Instead of wondering why Ronaldo got the 5th instead of the 1st, 2nd or 3rd, maybe we should wonder why Bruno Alves ended up taking one? I remember seeing him play in the Greek league 8 years ago. A very good defender, but I am not sure if he’s a penalty specialist. Surely one of the midfielders or the 2 strikers that came into the game where better options?

  7. Garry Marshall says:

    Portugal and the Netherlands some of the best players in the WORLD but they have a lot of GLORY hunters also, as a result they don’t play together as team as much as they should:(
    It is sad for me as i am a England and a Portugal fan/supporter.

  8. Jeet says:

    @Costas – spot on; not to sound clairvoyant, but the moment alves stepped up, I was near certain that he would miss. Actually, maybe I AM clairvoyant – I had the same feeling with Ashley Cole.

  9. hesselbom says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  10. CedarsDevil says:

    Is this even worthy of a topic?

  11. wayne says:

    Ronnie being self centred and selfish Nooooooo i don’t believe that for one minute

  12. Costas says:


    There are sometimes you can tell mate. For what it’s worth, I had that feeling when Anelka stepped up against VDS. He wasn’t nervous. It just seemed like he didn’t give a fuck.

    I don’t know how the Portugal penalties were designated, but both central defenders taking one? I remember we did the same against Everton and it backfired. On the other hand, Spain did the same thing…

  13. chiko_mufc_mondlane says:

    Nani showed some guts there to stop the shaky alves from taking the pen
    Had ronaldo done the same in the following pen
    It would be a whole different story, perhaps the spaniards would of lost.
    Alves body language was a disappointment
    He just whacked the ball without any sort of technique or control

  14. wayne says:

    I’m old school best penalty takers should be going first doesn’t make sense any other way

  15. Costas says:


    Nani didn’t change the order of the penalties mate. That was pre determined. The 3rd penalty was his. Alves got confused and thought it was his turn. And that was another sign of his nerves…

  16. chiko_mufc_mondlane says:

    There you go costas
    Couldn’t say it better

  17. Fred says:

    Nani wasn’t even sure whether he was taking the third or fourth penalty, so I wouldn’t take his word for it about Ronaldo “demanding” the fifth. Besides, he could just mean Ronaldo demanded the responsibilty of taking the fifth pen when Bento was offering it up. Obviously the logic of assuming the fifth penalty will be decisive is extremely flawed, but that’s another matter. Seems the British media are trying to paint this as a shot at Ronaldo from Nani, but I’m sure it’s something more innocuous. I’d like to see the original source of these quotes.

    Now I will hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong about the order of penalty takers being interchangable–Graham-Poll.html but I doubt many others knew this fact, least of all that guy the other night with his unique take on what happened between Nani and Bruno Alves. :lol:

    Speaking of which, here’s an alternative view of that incident from the top rated commenter on that Mail article: “Nani only went to take that penalty so that if he had missed there were still 2 more to go and he wouldn’t be all over the Portuguese papers the next day , and Ronaldo only wanted the glory of scoring the winning penalty which is why he waited . Both of these have egos the size of Europe and really should think about acting when they finish or maybe even gymnastics with all there roily poly antics”

    If anyone doesn’t understand the concept of the “ABU” fan, then that comment should give you an insight into their warped, delusional way of thinking.

  18. keegan4england says:

    The manager should decide…..end of.

  19. Fred says:

    Of course, the truth is that Ronaldo is an egomaniacal gloryhog. He’s always been that way. See how selfishly he DEMANDED to pay for this 9 year old boy’s cancer treatment:–sow.html
    It’s clear to anyone who knows Ronaldo that he did it for the personal glory of saving a little boy’s life. The man is contemptible.

  20. ahjs says:

    He wanted the winning penalty and everyone rushing over to hug and celebrate with him. He steps aside from the antics at Real – Barca matches now because he doesn’t want to be associated with that. He’s like a PR campaign on the pitch, eternally frustrated at living in Messi’s shadow.

    He wants the ballon d’or and being the star of the Euros are a way of getting that. Would have clinched it for him. He’s hardly ever in the moment, most of the time looking at the big screen when celebrating goals. It’s a real shame because his talent is obvious, he’s already achieved a lot but his attitude on the pitch works against him.

    And Fred, lots of players do charity work. Good on them. Drogba is a prime example of someone who does a lot off the pitch but is thoroughly unlikeable on it.

  21. Jeet says:

    He’s also a bottler of the highest order

  22. Fred says:

    Ronaldo wants the Balon d’or, oh shame on him! He should be knocking back booze and smoking fags in Las Vegas like our main man.

  23. WillieRedNut says:

    Kagawa’s in Vegas?

  24. Costas says:

    Ronaldo has been involved in about 5-7 shoot outs. We brought them up yesterday. This was just the 2nd time he got the 5th penalty. So he doesn’t make a habit of demanding to take the 5th one. 2 months ago, he went first in the shoot out against Bayern. I guess Mourinho isn’t as easy to persuade as Bento? ;)

    There’s not a lot of logic in demanding a 5th penalty for glory. Why? The shoot out could be well and truly over by then. Or it could go into sudden death.

  25. Fred says:

    Willie – I’m talking about a player a lot more ambitious than Kagawa! “Five bellies” Rooney.

  26. ahjs says:

    “Ronaldo wants the Balon d’or, oh shame on him! He should be knocking back booze and smoking fags in Las Vegas like our main man.”

    Yeah, I suppose there’s no middle ground. Ever.
    The Ballon d’or should be a reward, not the goal. Trying to win individual honours means you shoot when you should pass and want to take the 5th penalty when you’re the captain designated penalty taker, thus harming your team and, ironically, your chance to win anything.

  27. wayne says:

    ahjs Ronnie has always been committed and single minded when it comes to wanting to be the best,i wouild think it would be natural for a player like Ronnie to strife for the Ballon d’ or every year,i’d take a player that focused on excellence any day of the week

  28. TK99 says:

    I don’t give a shitt about Portugal.all i do care about is Nani..i want him to stay with United , even if we sign Bale and Rodriguez

  29. bayoRed says:

    I’m a bit disappointed about the Portuguese Gaffer, he shouldn’t be asking who wants to take what. I assume that he asked coz Nani says he told the Gaffer he didn’t care about the order. The coach should just instruct who takes what penalty coz its also a mind game. And what would he do if three of this star players want the 5th, he would have to disappoint two of them and who knows what that does to their confidence.
    Manager should decide all on his own or with the help of his assistant! So its his fault!

  30. Jay says:

    This is so fucking pathetic, why didn’t this story come out the day before, I actually think this has been made up unless there is a video of the conversation. This forum should already know the Daily Fail and the Daily Shit do not like Ronaldo. So much fucking fuss over nothing, even the Portuguese fans don’t give a fuck and are very proud of their captain and the team for reaching the semi final. Everyone expected Portugal to finish bottom in the group (besides Harry Redknapp). Cristiano scored 3 goals that took them out of the group and took them to the semi final. Bento confirmed that he asked Ronaldo to take the fifth, now imagine he changes his mind goes first and doesn’t score he will still be criticised and called an ego maniac. Nani did not stop Alves because he thought Alves looked nervous, he stopped him because it was Nani’s turn. Fabregas was told to take the second penalty but he said he wanted the fifth, is he not one of Spain’s top penalty taker if he had missed would people have called him a glory hunter? I’m sick of the double standard when it comes to Ronaldo it is shocking.

  31. Sparkz says:

    As Costas said – Ronaldo doesn’t normally go 5th. And the comparisons with Drogba, Gerrard and Fabregas are wrong…..because they weren’t the regular penalty takers for their team.

    Lampard takes Chelsea’s penalties – and he was 3rd/4th in the shoot out as I recall.
    And Alonso was Liverpool and Spain’s penalty taker – and he went early on in both shoot outs.

    Put simply – I can’t think of any occasions where a team’s regular penalty taker goes 5th! Doesn’t mean its Ronaldo being egotistical – it could be a managerial decision. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Ronaldo’s ego talking lol.

    As for the Nani/Alves thing – I’m not 100% sure that they did mess the order up. Okay, let’s say Alves forgot what number he was. What’s the chances of all his team mates forgetting as well? Surely somebody would have stopped him the moment he started walking up? If you ask me, they saw Alves was looking shaky so they sent Nani up instead, to give Alves another 60 seconds or so to get himself together. Just an opinion of course….

  32. Fred says:


    Spot on, Jay! Very well said. :)

  33. Red Darule says:

    Portugal look good for the future. They should look forward to 2014. Shit happens in this game.

  34. Jay says:

    If that is the case why send up a shaky player to go up and take the penalty, Nani didn’t do it for Alves benefit no fucking way.

  35. Gee says:

    Its a bit of a non story coz I’m pretty sure Ronnie has taken the last penalty in shootouts before for Portugal. Non the less would have liked him to have won it with Portugal, sick of the Spanish and they are boring me and Italy are really not that good, Germany simply didnt show up, bit like Utd against Barca in the CL final.

  36. Gee says:

    In fact didnt he take the fifth when Portugal knocked England out the other year in 06.

  37. Fred says:

    Gee – yes he did.

    Jay – exactly, it would have been suicidal to do undermine and embarrass one of your takers that way. Also, if they had doubts about Alves’s chances of scoring, why the hell would they choose him as one of the five at all? Pure nonsense.

  38. JC says:

    I said it right after the pens and I’ll say it again, Alves had no business taking any of those penalties. Did anyone watch him at all during the tourney? He has concrete feet, his passing was fairly poor and the couple of occasions he took a long shot the ball came nowhere near the goal. Surely Coentrão, Oliveira or Varela should have been in there instead of Bruno no foot.

  39. SimonJ says:

    I think Ronaldo will (at some stage) come home to United – I just have this feeling!


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