Monday, 11 July 2016

France star Dimitri Payet: 'I had no intention to injure Cristiano Ronaldo'

France midfielder Dimitri Payet has insisted that he did not intend to hurt Cristiano Ronaldo after his tackle resulted in the Real Madrid and Portugal star suffering a knee injury during the Euro 2016 final in Paris.

Cristiano Ronaldo
The Real Madrid star tried to shake off the problem to his left knee, but he ended up leaving the pitch in tears as he was stretchered off in the 25th minute at the Stade de France.

Despite Portugal being without their talisman for the rest of the game, they ended up lifting the trophy thanks to substitute Eder's extra-time strike.

"No, it was a challenge, that's all, period," Payet told reporters. "I regained the possession and if I hurt him it was not intentional. It's not in my nature to be a bad guy on the pitch. There is no question about it.

"We're disappointed. We were under the impression we were the ones with the possession and the better chances but we missed that goal that could unblock the situation. On the very few chances they got, they were able to score. A goal decided all. A goal that we couldn't score ourselves. The Portuguese side were more efficient. I think that if we could have scored we could have forced them to play more offensively and we could have counter-attacked. At the end that goal is cruel."

The upset in Paris was Portugal's first title win at a European Championships.

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