Roberto Martinez insisted that Portugal must be proud of their players, describing their penalty shootout defeat to France as "cruel" in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024.

Having seen a fourth meeting between the two sides at the European Championships go the full distance, spot-kicks would decide who would join Spain in the last four.

Joao Felix saw his effort bounce back off the post, allowing Theo Hernandez to send Les Bleus through to their fourth semi-final in the last five major tournaments.

Portugal squandered several golden opportunities on the night, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nuno Mendes going closest for the Selecao.

Martinez praised his side's display, believing his side were the better side on the night.

"We have to be proud of our players because they fought and performed very well," Martinez said.

"Football can be cruel. We wanted to give joy to the Portuguese people and the message is that the team gave everything and showed Portugal's values.

"It was a good game and France is a good team. We had more ball, we created opportunities, but we lacked precision and we needed to score a goal.

"We had a lot of opportunities, but it was a game of high technical and tactical level."

Following the full-time whistle in Hamburg, veteran defender Pepe was reduced to tears and consoled by former Real Madrid team-mate Ronaldo.

Pepe, who has made 140 appearances for his country, became the oldest player to play at the tournament and is likely to have played his final match for Portugal.

"Football is cruel and sadness is part of it," Pepe said.

"We were aiming to win for our country and bring joy to our people. Five days ago we won on penalties and now we lost on penalties. It's cruel.

"The most important thing is to congratulate my colleagues for their commitment to the game."