Found June 28, 2012 on Fox Sports:
The latest myth doing the rounds is that Cristiano Ronaldo backed down from the big occasion. Some say he opted out of the penalty shootout that marked the end of Portugal's run at 2012 UEFA European Championship. They are dead wrong. Portugal played Spain, the reigning king of international soccer, to a scoreless stalemate over 120 minutes. It lost the penalty-kick shootout 4-2 and its captain, Ronaldo, never had a chance to shoot. Portugal manager Paulo Bento designated him as the taker of the fifth kick. Joao Moutinho (who went first) and Bruno Alves (fourth) missed their shots, while four of the first five Spanish takers made theirs. The shootout ended when Spain's fifth shooter, Cesc Fabregas, converted his spot-kick. At that point, Portugal was down by two goals with only one shooter remaining and the shootout was over. There is an art and science to setting the order of penalty-kick takers. It's important for a coach to have full confidence that his first shooter will succeed and keep the pressure on the other team. It is debatable exactly when to use the others. Bento took a gamble by slating Ronaldo to go fifth, and it backfired. On paper, the player who scored 60 goals for Real Madrid in the 2011-12 season is surely one of Portugal's top three shooters. It's likely that the Portugal boss wanted Ronaldo standing at the spot when it mattered most, which makes sense. While there was no way to anticipate that Ronaldo wouldn't get a chance to shoot, there was always a possibility it could happen. It is also no given that Ronaldo would have scored. In May, he failed to score for Real Madrid when it lost to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinal. He was his team's first shooter, but Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved his shot. There is no way to prove what would have happened if Ronaldo took a penalty kick on Wednesday. But it's pretty safe to say that the superstar, who has dwelled in the playpen of pressure-packed situations for the last 10 years, did not back down. Review all the action from Wednesday's game in our Euro 2012 Live Blog .

Ronaldo: Portugal have 'mental edge'

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Euro 2012: Previewing Portugal-Spain

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Star power headlines Euro semifinals

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Fabregas downplays Ronaldo clash

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Portugal, Spain produce Euro downer

The Euros continued their turn for the worse Wednesday night, as Spain and Portugal played out a dreadful match that resulted in the second straight scoreless draw of the tournament. Cesc Fabregas would net the winner in the penalty shootout , pinging his shot off the post to beat Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio. The damage, however, had already been done. Simply put, this match...

Portugal Indebted to Beautiful Fans for Run to Euro 2012 Semifinal (Photos)

As part of our coverage of the 2012 UEFA European Championships, will showcase fans from participating countries. Portugal was drawn into the "Group of Death" at Euro 2012, experts predicting it to fail to qualify for the knockout rounds. Instead, the Portuguese not only advanced from their group, but made it within inches of reaching the final. The team was based...

Spain vs Portugal Preview: Can CR7 and his men trump the world champions?

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Spain Clinch Euro Final Place After Spot-kick Drama

Cesc Fabregas proved the hero as Spain denied Portugal a place in the final of Euro 2012 with a 4-2 win on penalties.Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a good chance to put Portugal through in the last minute of normal time while Portugal keeper Rui Patricio made superb saves to deny Jesus Navas and Andres Iniesta in extra-time.The Spaniards had started better, and ought to have...
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