EURO 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo backs Portugal to "come back stronger" after Euro 2020 exit

Reigning champions Portugal exiting Euro 2020 at the last-16 stage on Sunday, but Ronaldo says he is "proud" of his team-mates' efforts.

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Ronaldo: Portugal will come back stronger after Euro 2020 exit

Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed Portugal "will come back stronger" after their European Championship title defence was ended by Belgium.

Portugal bowed out of Euro 2020 on Sunday as a Thorgan Hazard strike gave the Belgians a 1-0 win in the sides' last-16 tie in Seville. 

The Seleção won just one of their four Euro 2020 matches, which is their fewest in a single European Championship tournament since their first appearance in 1984 (also one win).

The 23 shots recorded by Portugal against Belgium is the highest tally for a team at Euro 2020 without scoring, with Ronaldo responsible for four of those attempts.

"We are proud of our journey"

Despite his side's disappointing exit in the first knockout round, Juventus star Ronaldo is proud of his team-mates and is predicting a bright future for the Euro 2016 and Nations League 2019 winners.

"We didn't get the result we wanted and we left the race sooner than we wanted," he posted on his official Instagram page. 

"But we are proud of our journey. We gave everything to renew the title of European Champions and this group proved that it can still give much joy to the Portuguese.

"Our fans were tireless in supporting the team from start to finish. We ran and fought for them, in order to live up to the trust they placed in us

"It was not possible to get where we all wanted, but here is our sincere and profound thanks.

"Congratulations to Belgium and good luck to all the teams that remain in the competition. As for us, we will come back stronger."

Ronaldo must wait for goals record after Euro 2020 elimination

Portugal's exit means Ronaldo will have to wait at least another three months before he can surpass Ali Daei as the outright top international goalscorer of all time.

However, the Juve forward's five goals – coming from 15 shots – could yet see him end as the top scorer at Euro 2020.

Santos' side are back in action in September with a World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland, while Belgium will face Italy on Friday for a Euro 2020 semi-final spot.