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Quaresma: 'I had the whole country in my hands'

Ricardo Quaresma spoke of the pressure he felt stepping up to take the penalty that took Portugal through to the semi-finals as Adam Nawałka hailed the heart showed by his Poland side.

Quaresma: 'I had the whole country in my hands'
Quaresma: 'I had the whole country in my hands' ©Getty Images

Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
As we move further along, we get closer to our goal. We have the drive and ambition and we want to bring great joy to the Portuguese people. Penalties are a lottery but you have to show a lot of character. I knew Poland were great at spot kicks because they won on penalties in the last round but I told my players to stay calm because I knew they would score.

Poland started really well but I had a strategy with William Carvalho, Renato Sanches and Adrien Silva closing their players down. We let them take over the game for a bit and weren't able to control [Arkadiusz] Milik, so I spoke to Renato Sanches to change things and asked Nani to drop a bit deeper.

Thankfully we got the goal through Renato, but Poland are a very good team who know how to lull their opponents into a state of rest. But we did well; we played on the front foot and had the better chances, even if Poland had a few as well. We won fair and square against a very good team.

Ronaldo: Portugal were worthy winners
Ronaldo: Portugal were worthy winners

Renato Sanches played very well but I don't think the Renato you see today is the once we'll see in the future. He's still growing and he has to take all his qualities and put them all on the pitch. It's my job to help him do this. He reminds me of the great Portuguese player [Mário] Coluna.

Renato Sanches, Man of the Match
Right now things are going well for the side. We gave our best on the pitch and critics only made us stronger.

Renato Sanches joy at Portugal win
Renato Sanches joy at Portugal win

It's a wonderful moment for the team and for me to score. We've been working very hard and we have been doing our best. People criticise us but we don't care, because we're in the semis.

We conceded very early but believed until the end. The goal was good but the team had been playing well. Individual accolades are only important after the team. I'm happy to be Man of the Match again, but the individual comes after the team.

It takes a lot of hard work to be this lucky. Sometimes we are bound to be lucky because we have worked very hard.

For the penalties, the coach asked who wanted to take one. Cristiano was first and I said I would be second. The coach had faith in me, and I was confident enough to ask to take one. I was just thinking about scoring. I was very cool, very collected, did what I always do; picked a side and put it in there.

Ricardo Quaresma, Portugal midfielder
It was enormous pressure. I had an entire country in my hands. I stayed positive. I knew it was going to be a goal. I didn't have time to think. Before stepping up I was very confident. We're on the right track and we're going to continue.

Adam Nawałka barks out instructions
Adam Nawałka barks out instructions©AFP/Getty Images

Adam Nawałka, Poland coach
It's definitely a tough moment for us. The players put a lot of heart into this match and played bravely throughout the tournament. We haven't lost a match; we were knocked out on penalties. We have to look with optimism to the future and the European Qualifiers. There will be soon be time for detailed analysis but at the moment this defeat hurts.

We've moved forward, this tournament has proved that. We were very good in both the group and knockout stages. We're always trying to improve and that will be the case going into the future.

The team works as one. The team spirit was our driving force here. We need to think about what we've achieved here and continue to move forward. There's no need to grieve for too long; it's just a disappointment.

Robert Lewandowski is still and always will be a huge player for this team. He's the captain, he motivates players on the pitch and off the pitch. His behaviour is something that I can only praise. It was a good tournament for the team but also for Robert Lewandowski. I'm very happy with the way he played.

I want to thank all the players for the heart and ambition they showed in all our matches. We can only be happy.

Robert Lewandowski cuts a dejected figure
Robert Lewandowski cuts a dejected figure©AFP/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski, Poland forward
It hurts a bit because we lost against a team that maybe had a bit more possession, but haven't won any matches [in 90 minutes] and they're in the semi-final. It's a paradox of this semi-final; we definitely fought, and I'm sorry that we lost the shoot-out and we're out.

We were so close to the semi-final. It hurts and will hurt for a long time, but we're tough and I hope we can handle it.