Real Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale shared an emotional embrace following the Euro 2016 semi-final between Portugal and Wales.
Ronaldo scored with a thumping header to open the scoring in his country’s 2-0 win over Wales – as Portugal progressed to their second European Championships final in eight years.
The Portuguese captain unleashed a wave of emotion at the final whistle as he celebrated his side’s win, but stopped to console his Madrid colleague Bale.
Much of the talk in the build-up to the semi-final was about Ronaldo v Bale, but the pair put aside national rivalry once the game was over to share a special moment with the eyes of the world fixed on them.
Bale had been stood on his own, collecting his thoughts at the end of what has been a fantastic tournament for Wales, when he was approached by Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward first offered his hand to the 26-year-old – who was struggling to hide his disappointment at the result – before the pair shared a hug.
Ronaldo – who will hope to inspire Portugal to claim their first piece of silverware in Sunday’s final at the Stade de France – was asked about the time he spent with Bale following the final whistle after the match. However, he wouldn’t fully disclose what he said to his club teammate during their exchange.
According to the Daily Mirror, Ronaldo said: “I can’t tell you what went on.
“I congratulated them on their run, they had an amazing run. They were the shining star here, the revelation team.
“I wished them good luck and, as for the rest, I would rather not say.”
Despite his obvious disappointment at seeing his side miss out on the final, Bale focused on the positives of Wales’ incredible run during Euro 2016 and insisted they would use it to inspire them for future tournaments.
Bale said: “We’re bitterly disappointed to be so close to the final, but we have to be proud. We have achieved a lot.
“We’ve had a taste of it now and we look forward to the future. We have confidence.
“We don’t just want to turn up to one tournament, it’s about the bigger picture for us.”