Monaco, Aug 24 (IANS) Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has said his club Real Madrid were better than their rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final which they clinched in a penalty shoot-out though Atletico “also deserved to win”.
In an interview published by the UEFA website on Wednesday, Ronaldo said the final “was an amazing experience. Once again (as in 2014) against Atletico Madrid, who are an excellent side and also deserved to win the Champions League … but Real Madrid were better”.
“We had a bit of luck in the shoot-out because penalties are always a lottery. It was the pinnacle of a difficult season,” he added.
He also talked about his club chief coach Zinedine Zidane. “He’s a great professional, a great person and in my opinion, his biggest quality is his ability to give his players a sense of calm. That’s what we needed and after he arrived the team went from 0 to 100,” he said.
“We were 12 points behind Barcelona and we ended up just one point adrift. In the Champions League we did what we had to do — and went on to win it. What more could you ask? Zidane deserves a lot of credit,” Ronaldo added.
On Portugal’s victory in Euro 2016, he said: “To be honest, I didn’t think Portugal could win the EURO. But match by match, I started believing it was possible. In the end we deserved it, we played as a team and our players are to be congratulated.
“Pepe was extraordinary this year. It was possibly his best season. He was undoubtedly Portugal’s best player and one of Real Madrid’s best players in the Champions League. I’m delighted he was selected in the Team of the Tournament at the EURO,” Ronaldo declared.
Finally, he talked about being the leading scorer in Champions League history.
“It’s an honour to play in the Champions League, the most important competition. And being the leading scorer in the competition’s history makes it even more special for me,” he maintained.
“This tournament is special for me, it’s special for Real Madrid, so we will try to win it again this season,” he added.