Gareth Bale admitted “it wasn’t meant to be” for Wales against Portugal but still had the good will to praise clubmate Cristiano Ronaldo as a “natural goalscorer”.
Bale was overshadowed by Ronaldo in the Euro 2016 semi-final between Wales and Portugal on Wednesday as his Real Madrid colleague scored and assisted each of the Seleccao’s goals in a 2-0 victory, and the former Tottenham Hotspur attacker showed grace in defeat.
“It is a difficult one to analyse now but we’re obviously disappointed,” he told UEFA’s official website.
“We’ve got to be proud first and foremost. We’ve given everything on the pitch, off the pitch.
“We’ve tried to enjoy the experience of the tournament. We want to thank all the fans for all the support we’ve had, it’s been absolutely incredible.
“We’re disappointed, naturally, but they got the first goal and were a bit lucky on the second. We tried our hardest to get back in the game.
“We fought until the last second and we’re sorry we couldn’t get to the final but we gave everything.
“He [Ronaldo] is a natural goalscorer and he scored yet again. It’s not about them, it’s about us.
“We’re disappointed but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’re a proud bunch and we’ll stick together and lift the spirits and go again.
“Nobody expected us to get this far but we’re very proud and have no regrets. We’ll continue to battle on."
“They shut up shop quite well. They limited our opportunities and fair dos to them. We have no regrets.
“We’re a proud nation and proud of what we achieved. We obviously would have loved to have gone to the final and challenged for the trophy, but it wasn’t meant to be.”