European Soccer

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

Ronaldo (Getty)


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:


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.


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 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.


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.


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.

  • Old School

    I’m torn on taking the 5th or 1st PK.

    I understand the logic of wanting to be the deciding “PK taker” but I also think there is a certain tone the first person that takes a PK sets for his entire team. Essentially, making that as important if not more important than the 5th.

    No question in my mind the first PK missed was a bad omen for Portugal.


  • Dinho

    No question that you put your best PK taker first. You NEED to give them the opportunity to take one…can’t risk (like Ronaldo) having your best converter left out.


  • Old School

    That scene STILL hurts my side from laughter.

    RIP Chappelle Show (in it’s hayday)


  • Nate

    I don’t think he needed to go first, but you have to put him in the first three, so he’s at least guaranteed to take a PK! Fifth just makes no sense – lots of shootouts stop before then.

    Portugal’s first (stopped) PK wasn’t bad, either, Casillas just read/guessed it right and made a good play. The only error was that fourth one, which should have been Ronaldo.


  • Joamiq

    “He said to me, ‘Do you want to take the fifth one?’ and I said, ‘Yes’.”

    Sounds like it was Bento’s idea, but Ronaldo’s choice. Really, it’s always the player’s choice in these scenarios. Coaches have no control if a player says he does or doesn’t want to take one, or wants a certain turn.


  • Gnarls

    Of all the A-mendments to the Con-sti-tution… I can only choose one…. I can only choose oooooone… I plead the fif (bang bang).


  • Joamiq

    Especially with the confusion over the 3rd kick, the best decision for Ronaldo in that scenario would have been for him to come in and say, I’m shooting now, then Alves, then Nani. Certainly may not have changed the outcome – Ronaldo has missed some big shots in shootouts – but it would have been the smarter way to go.


  • Nate Dollars

    hmm. from what i’ve read, the coach has to submit the order prior to the kicks being taken, and it cannot deviate from that.

    so, yes, theoretically ronaldo could’ve refused to go 5th, and insisted on the 1st, but in the end, it wouldn’t be up to him; the team has to follow the coach’s submitted order of pk-takers.

    anyone who’s taken the time to read the laws of the game (i’m not doing it), feel free to point out any mistakes.


  • Nate Dollars

    and my take on it (since everyone’s asking): bento screwed up, unless he really thought alves was a better pk-taker. you don’t wait ’til the 5th shot, because (obviously) you may not get there.


  • Mike r

    Umm it sounds like he wa given a choice and chose 5th knowing there’s a great chance it would be meaningless



  • RJ

    I have always thought your best 2 PK takers should go 1st and 3rd. Your 5th best should go 5th….


  • JoeW

    I’m not a Ronaldo fan. Amazingly talented player yes, but I don’t admire him for many reasons. That said, this PK thing is a bum rap.

    I’ve coached a lot of soccer. I’ve prepared sides for PK shootouts and they’ve done relatively well. I always put my 2 best penalty takers 1st and 5th. I want a strong penalty taker 1st b/c that puts pressure on the other side. I want a strong penalty take 5th b/c some shootouts you go to the 5th shot down 1 PK and your taker must have a big heart and a lot of confidence. Being slotted as 5th is no badge of shame. And then after that, I would alternate kickers based on shape (some guys would be hurt or spent and I could tell they were cramping) and variety (mix in left or right footed kickers, put someone in with skill who might feint or lob the keeper) b/c I wanted the keeper to face a range of different looking penalty takers and strategies and just end up guessing (rather than feeling like he had a read on my players).

    Going 5th is no shame, it’s actually a critical penalty spot, only 2nd to the 1st penalty taker. So I’m not a fan of Ronaldo but there is no criticism of him from me on this issue about him going 5th. I think the attacks are just cheap shots.


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