Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal's results more important than my displays
Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal's qualification for the Euro 2016 semifinals is the most important thing after he missed a number of chances during Thursday's quarterfinal clash with Poland.
Ronaldo, 31, had an off day in front of goal in the 1-1 draw but scored from the spot as Portugal won the penalty shootout 5-3 to progress to the last four, where they will meet either Wales or Belgium.
Speaking to reporters after the game at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, the Real Madrid player said: "My own performance is not important. What counts is the team, and we did a fantastic job.
"I worked hard for the team, although I did not manage to score. Today it was Renato [Sanches], I am delighted for him, he is doing well and now has his first goal at the Euros. The objective was to go through. We are in the semis and go on from here."
A battling Poland had made it tough for his team, said Ronaldo, but Portugal had kept their heads in the shootout and deserved passage to what will be their fifth semifinal at a European Championship.
"It was a difficult game against an excellent team," he said. "Each team fought with their own weapons. Always when we play against teams who have a very defensive style of play, it is a bit more difficult.
"Both teams did not want to take risks. Poland battled well, they are a strong team, play good football, they are intense, have experience. But Portugal were the better team, created more chances and deserved to win. Penalties are a lottery but Portugal hit theirs with cool heads."
Both of Portugal's potential semifinal opponents will provide a "difficult" challenge, according to Ronaldo.
"Wales are the surprise of the Euros," he said. "They are having an excellent tournament. Belgium are very strong too, they have a very dangerous team."
Portugal have drawn all their games over 90 minutes so far -- against Iceland, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Poland -- but are still through to the last four of Euro 2016.
"Maybe no one gave us a chance, but we are already in the semifinals," Ronaldo said. "It was a very important victory, the team hit well, fought hard. We are in the semifinals, from now everything is possible. It is a dream to win the Euros, as I have won many club trophies but nothing with Portugal."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan