After a lively though scoreless 120 minutes of Confederations Cup soccer between Portugal and Chile, the South Americans advanced to the final on penalty kicks thanks in part to Claudio Bravo but mostly to Portugal’s penalty takers, who were shockingly bad.
The shootout was decided after only three spot kicks by each side. The Chilean contingent of Arturo Vidal, Charles Aránguiz, and Alexis Sánchez all converted their attempts, while Portugal’s lineup of Ricardo Quaresma, João Moutinho, and Nani each sent in tepid efforts that Bravo easily saved. Nani’s bizarre match-ender was far and away the worst, but all of them were bad:
You may have noticed the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo’s name in that list of Portuguese takers. In typical glory boy fashion, Ronaldo decided to take Portugal’s last kick of the shootout, more concerned that he be photographed wheeling away, almost certainly shirtless, in celebration after converting the potential winner than maximizing his team’s odds for success by taking one of the early ones. Joke’s on you, Ronaldo!
As garbage as Portugal’s penalties were, Bravo still does deserve credit for making the saves, especially after the trying club season he just completed. After starring for Barcelona in La Liga for a couple years before moving to the Premier League last summer, he developed a well-deserved reputation as an unreliable gnome during his brief spell as Manchester City’s starter. By the end of the season, City fans were sarcastically cheering routine saves Bravo would make, and manager Pep Guardiola just recently signed young keeper Ederson from Benfica as Bravo’s replacement. That it was he who came up with the three big saves to thwart Ronaldo and his band of identically hair-styled teammates made the win even sweeter. As did the sight of Ronaldo sulking quickly off the field quickly.