Portugal-Slovenia match reaction: “Winning like this makes us stronger” – Roberto Martínez

Diogo Costa is the toast of Portugal today, the Porto goalkeeper saving three penalties in the shootout against Slovenia to send the Seleção into the quarter-finals.

Costa also provided the quote of the night when asked about Ronaldo’s missed penalty in extra time saying: “We all fail. What’s important is what we do afterwards.” 

PortuGOAL rounds up the reaction after a dramatic night in Frankfurt. 

Roberto Martínez, Portugal coach:

“Slovenia executed their plan very well, but I think we played a good attacking game. The pitch was slow and difficult. Even so, we had 20 attacks, 11 corners and we missed a penalty. Portugal didn’t score, but played a good game. We were ready to tough it out. We didn’t play a bad game. These matches are complicated, just look at England against Slovakia.

“Are we ready for France? Physically all the players are ready to give their contribution. They all had minutes in the group phase. That’s what we wanted. The focus is now on France, a historical opponent for Portugal, with the key moment in 2016.

“Spain-Germany, Portugal-France, England-Switzerland are good games for the tournament. Three days are enough for us to be ready.

“Ronaldo is a constant example. He’s the only player who has played six European championships and he has the desire, willpower and responsibility of a youngster. It’s incredible for someone who has won everything to be like that. I thank him for being how he is.

“After missing the penalty, he was the first one to take one in the shootout. He knew he had to be the first. He showed us the way and we are very proud of him. He gave us a lesson. There are tough moments in football, but the way Ronaldo reacted… we are proud.

“We showed enormous mental strength. We deserved victory, but we want to improve. Our goalkeeper defended three penalties. Diogo Costa is the most hidden secret in European football, and today he appeared.

“Winning like this makes us stronger than winning by two or three goals difference.” 


Related: Penalty shootout success as Portugal get past Slovenia in the Euro 2024 Round of 16

Related: Portugal vs Slovenia: Player ratings



Matjaz Kek, Slovenia coach:

“We played well but Portugal played better, created more opportunities. They deserved to progress. I hope they go all the way.”


Diogo Costa, Portugal goalkeeper:

“Perhaps it is the best game of my life. It was the game in which I most helped my team. Did Ricardo [goalkeeper coach] tell me anything? Both Ricardo and the whole team gave me good words of encouragement and motivated me. I was focused on helping.

“I followed my instinct. Of course we analyse the penalty takers, but I followed my feeling. I’m very emotional right now. I concentrated my maximum, breathed deeply several times in the penalties. I believe in my work; I kill myself working and I believe in myself.”

“How did I feel after Ronaldo missed the penalty. The team believed it had to continue to believe. Me, Cris, everyone – we all fail. What’s important is what we do afterwards. We believed until the end. We’re delighted to be in the quarter-finals.” 


Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal captain:

“As you saw, I missed the penalty, but I wanted to be the first to score in the shootout. You have to take the responsibility when the team needs it. You can’t be afraid. I’ve never been afraid to face things head on. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t, but you will never see me give up.”


Bernardo Silva, Portugal midfielder:

“What headline would I write for tomorrow? I’d go for “Saint Diogo!” He put in a spectacular display and today he saved us. We need these moments.

“Cristiano missed the penalty but it’s only players who accept this responsibility who can miss them. I went through this experience in the Champions League against Real Madrid. It’s football, it’s brutal. But we had Diogo Costa who kept us alive and we’re through.” 


By Tom Kundert in Frankfurt