Mid-Day Ticker: Ronaldo talks PKs, van Marwijk resigns as Dutch coach & more

Mid-Day Ticker: Ronaldo talks PKs, van Marwijk resigns as Dutch coach & more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Ronaldo talks PKs, van Marwijk resigns as Dutch coach & more

Ronaldo (Getty)

By THOMAS FLOYD

Many have criticized Cristiano Ronaldo for waiting until the fifth shot — an opportunity that never came — to step up to the spot in Portugal's penalty kicks loss to Spain on Wednesday in the Euro 2012 semifinals.

It turns out it wasn't Ronaldo's idea after all. The Real Madrid star has acknowledged that it was actually coach Paulo Bento's plan to have him take the fifth penalty kick.

"It was just a question of me speaking with the coach," Ronaldo said on the Portuguese TV network SIC. "He said to me, 'Do you want to take the fifth one?' and I said, 'Yes'. Sometimes I take the first, the second or the third. I agreed to take the fifth."

Here are some more stories to keep your Thursday going:

VAN MARWIJK RESIGNS AS NETHERLANDS COACH

Bert van Marwijk has resigned as the Netherlands' coach after his side lost all three of its matches at Euro 2012. The 60-year-old had a contract that ran through Euro 2016 and two weeks ago received a vote of confidence from the Dutch federation, which said his job was not at stake.

"I have severe doubts, but have decided to take this step anyway," Van Marwijk said in a statement.

NASRI APOLOGIZES FOR RANT

France midfielder Samir Nasri has apologized for his expletive-laced rant at a journalist following France's 2-0 loss to Spain in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals, writing on his Twitter page Wednesday that "supporters and in particular children should know that I regret that my language may have shocked them."

Nasri, who faces possible disciplinary action from the French federation, has not apologized to the reporter.

MANCHESTER UNITED, BARCELONA SCHEDULE FRIENDLY

Manchester United and Barcelona will meet in a high-profile friendly for the second-straight summer, scheduling a match in Gothenburg, Sweden, for Aug. 8.

The two sides faced each other last summer at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., just two months after Barcelona defeated United in the UEFA Champions League final. United won the friendly 2-1.

FULHAM SIGN PETRIC

With Andy Johnson moving on to Queens Park Rangers, and Clint Dempsey potentially leaving via transfer this summer, Fulham was in need of a forward and found one in Croatian striker Mladen Petric, who will join the Cottagers as a free agent.

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Do you think Ronaldo should have taken the fifth penalty kick? Should van Marwijk have stayed on as the Dutch coach? Should Nasri apologize to the journalist himself?

Share your thoughts below.

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