The Spanish are through to the final. The defending European and World Cup Champions beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties after a 120-minute long, dreadfully boring 0-0 draw. Let us never speak of it again. The big question for Portuguese fans will be why Cristiano Ronaldo did not take a penalty. There are two possibilities.
(1) He was waiting to be the anchor on the fifth kick. If true, this was a dumb strategy as it necessitated Bruno Alves and Nani ensuring Portugal would have a fifth kick. Importantly, was that Ronaldo’s decision or Bento’s?
(2) He got the yips. Penalties are a unique pressure situation that can make a mortal of anyone. Ronaldo missed in both the Champions League Final in 2008. He also missed against Bayern Munich in this year’s Champions League Semifinal. He has to take a penalty there, but if he didn’t feel confident enough to take one you don’t want him on the spot.
[Photo via Getty]