Pepe Jose Fonte Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Portugal players Pepe, Jose Fonte and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate their win over Poland in the Euro 2016 quarterfinal, June 30, 2016Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo might have had one of those "cannot get the ball into the net, no matter how hard he tries" days again, but the Portugal captain had no doubts over the fact that his team were deserved winners on Thursday. Portugal showed nerves of steel to beat Poland 5-3 on penalties in Marseille and book their place in the semifinals of Euro 2016.

Apart from the one match, a 3-3 draw against Hungary, Ronaldo has found it difficult to find his goalscoring touch in this tournament, and despite a number of presentable chances, indeed quite easy by his own high standards, the Real Madrid man failed to score in the quarterfinal against Poland.

The match ended 1-1 after 120 minutes following two first half goals – the first coming from Poland captain Robert Lewandowski in just the second minute, before Renato Sanches, the 18-year-old Bayern Munich player, equalised on 33 minutes.

In the shootout, all five of the Portugal players hit the back of the net, with Jakub Blaszczykowski's missed spotkick, brilliantly saved by Rui Patricio, proving to be the difference. Despite the penalty shootout quarterfinal drama, however, Ronaldo felt the better team won through in the end.

"I think Portugal were better and created more chances," Ronaldo told UEFA's official website. "It was very difficult, as befitting a quarterfinal. Poland did well – they have a strong team and play good football. They're a very intense team, they're physical and experienced."

Next up for Portugal is either Wales or Belgium, who play the second quarterfinal on Friday. While Belgium have the firepower and talent to beat any side in the world, let alone Europe, Wales have been quite impressive, with Gareth Bale, Ronaldo's Real Madrid teammate, leading from the front.

Ronaldo insisted he has no particular preference over a semifinal opponent, as he knows both teams will pose plenty of problems to Portugal.

"Both are very difficult," Ronaldo added. "Wales have had an excellent tournament. Belgium are also a very dangerous team that have done well with some good results. Either team would be complicated.

"Our objective was for Portugal to win. I want to congratulate my colleagues, our coach and technical team, we all did a fantastic job. Now on to the next opponent who we will prepare for and we will give our all."

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