Cristiano Ronaldo felt Real Madrid had some luck in winning the Champions League Final as Atletico Madrid ‘also deserved to win…but we were better.’
Ronaldo spoke to UEFA’s official website as one of the nominees for the Best Player in Europe award and was asked about Los Blancos’ European success, as well as Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016.
“It 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,” he acknowledged.
“It was the pinnacle of a difficult season for Real Madrid in which we were ultimately able to win the biggest trophy in club football.
“[Zinedine] Zidane was key. 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.
“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.
“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. This tournament is special for me, it's special for Real Madrid, so we will try to win it again this season.”
Ronaldo was with Pepe as he lifted trophies for both club and country and spoke highly of his colleague as well as the national team as a whole.
“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 Euro 2016 – in my opinion Pepe was the best player,” he revealed.
“Before Euro 2016 we expected Portugal to have a good European Championship, get through the group stage, get through the quarter-finals and from there we saw everything as a bonus.
“To be honest I didn't think Portugal could win it. 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.”