Hero keeper shuts out Portugal

BY 

On 

June 30, 2017
Hero keeper shuts out Portugal

SUPER STOPPER: Claudio Bravo

Claudio Bravo may be called “the Hologram” by Manchester City fans, but what the Chile keeper did to Portugal on Wednesday was unreal.

Bravo was the hero in the Confederations Cup semifinal penalty shootout victory over Cristiano Ronaldo and company, sending the Copa America winners to Sunday’s final.

Hated by some at Eastlands for letting “goals pass through him”, Pep Guardiola’s No.1 saved all three of Portugal’s first spotkicks as La Roja won 3-0 in the lottery after the game ended goalless after 120 minutes.

And he did it all while carrying a thigh injury.

Bravo explains: “I feel as I always do. I’m a very balanced person.

“I was injured and didn’t play at my normal pace.

“But I normally take things calmly and this was a very special game for us.

“We were able to reach the final which is very important for us, we’re completing a very successful cycle.

“We’re happy to play in the final.”

The biggest loser on the night was Portugal captain Ronaldo, who didn’t even get to take the “glory kick”.

He had a quiet night as the Chilean defence kept him at bay, with Chile hitting the woodwork three times in the final three minutes of extra time.

And the superstar will miss Sunday’s third-place playoff as he heads to the USA to meet his new twin sons.

In a statement, he says: “I was in the service of the national team, as always, body and soul, even though my two sons were born.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the main sporting objective that we wanted, but I am sure we will continue to give joy to the Portuguese.”

Meanwhile, the original Ronaldo has some advice for the Real Madrid star about his future, with reports claiming that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner wants to leave the club.

The Brazilian and former Los Blancos striker says: “I’m almost certain that Cristiano will stay in Madrid, because a player who scores 50 goals a year provides the club with a security that can’t be given up.

“[The great players] always decide [their future], but even though I don’t know the reasons for his discomfort, I don’t think there is a team that can treat Cristiano better than Real Madrid.”

Recommended for you