While in Los Angeles, the Real Madrid superstar sat down with ESPN’s Frank Leboeuf to talk about ‘that’ penalty shootout against Spain at Euro 2012 as well as his candidacy for this year’s Ballon D’Or. Here are some of the excerpts from that interview:
So just what happened in the penalty shootout?
“People are going to criticize all the time why I didn’t shoot first,” said Ronaldo in a recent Press Pass interview. As Ronaldo waited for the fifth spot-kick in that critical knockout game, Spain sealed a spot in the final and left us with the iconic image of Portugal’s biggest star unable to help his team when it was needed most. “I’ve no answer for it because I can shoot the first time and I can miss the penalty too … so it’s a lottery.”
The 4-2 shootout defeat ended Portugal’s Euro dreams of a first international title, and it’s clear that Ronaldo does have mild regret.
“Against Bayern [in the Champions League semifinal], I was the first one. I missed. My opinion about Spain is to score the winning goal. My feeling, it was wrong.”
Leboeuf then moved onto this year’s Ballon d’Or? Despite being in scintillating shape for Real, the exploits of Lionel Messi at Barcelona have kept Ronaldo from winning the trophy the last three years. Is this the year he wins it?
“I want justice,” Ronaldo noted, all too aware that he last won the highest individual award back in 2008. “If there is justice, you see who is going to win and who deserves to win. I’m not going to say any more.”
“Of course, I’m not going to lie to you. I want to win, and I hope that [Jose Mourinho] wins, too, because he’s shown he is the best coach in the world. Just justice. I don’t ask for anything more.”