Ronaldo: Country over club

Exclusive: Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has said he prefers international football to playing for his club side Real Madrid.

Eurosport

The Portugal captain spoke exclusively to Eurosport partner QQ Sports ahead of the quarter-final against the quarter-final against Czech Republic.

Congratulations on beating Netherlands and reaching the quarter-finals - what did you think of the game?

We played a perfect game against strong opponents. Whenever we lost the ball we did not give up, and we fought hard. That gives us confidence going into the last eight.

Was the match against Germany your hardest in Group B?

For me, the first game was the hardest. Although we lost, we responded well, winning the next two. It will also be difficult against Czech Republic but we have a chance to win.

You scored crucial goals against Netherlands, but why did you not score in the first two games?

Football is always full of surprises, and that it what makes it great. In the first two matches I tried my utmost but could not score. But I think the most important thing is to trust yourself and your team. Despite not scoring in the first two matches, I scored in the most crucial game, which give me greater confidence in myself and our team.

What will the game against the Czech Republic be like?

It will be a tough game. Czech Republic were in the same situation as us, losing the first game before coming into form. It's a 50-50 game, but our expectations are high and we hope to get off to a great start.

Everybody says Portugal are relying on you - how do you see it?

No, it is not like that. When I did not score, the others were able to get the goals. The most important thing is our team as a whole. Nobody is special, and everyone will give their best for the team.

As captain, how to you help your team-mates?

I just do everything I can to make their lives easier, and try to resolve any problems. The most important thing is communication, but we are all friends so it is very smooth. The captaincy is just a personal identity - the key is to have a good relationship with everyone.

What is the difference between club and international football?

They are completely different environments. In the national team, I have many friends. we share a common language and are working together for the honour of the country. At club level, you are with your team-mates every day, so you can communicate and get on easily. But speaking from the heart, I prefer the feeling of the national team.

How many more European Championships do you intend to play?

It's hard to say. In five years I may not have the same speed, but you never know. For now, I just want to enjoy football. I will do my best.

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