Portugal won their first international trophy in the nation’s history defeating hosts France 1-0 in extra time, in the final of the 2016 European Championships, in Paris, on Sunday night.
Eder scored the winning goal as the Seleccao won their maiden trophy despite Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo getting injured in the first 20 minutes of the game. The European Championship win will go down in history as the Portugese contingent navigated through troubled waters in each phase.
From finishing 3rd in the group and narrowly qualifying for the knockout phase to tumbling their way to the semi-finals. But, it all seems to have been worth it as the Cristiano Ronaldo & co. can find solace after narrowly missing out in 2004 as hosts.
Portugese coach Fernando Santos was ecstatic at his boys’ achievements and was quoted praising his captain, on UEFA’s official website.
“Our skipper put in an immense effort, he has amazing team spirit. Twice he tried to get back on the pitch but him being there in the dressing room and on the bench was very important for us. He believed – just like myself – that tonight was our night.”
Santos also reserved some comments for the man who scored the winner, Eder.
“When [Éder] came on, he told me he’d score. The ugly duckling scored! Now he’s the beautiful swan!”
French Coach Didier Deschamps was visibly disappointed at the narrow loss but was gracious in his words after the defeat.
“We threw away a great chance to be European champions. Clearly we had our opportunities and we weren’t clinical enough. I can’t hold anything against my players. They gave everything tonight. It’s cruel to lose the final like that. I have to congratulate Portugal.”
The spotlight was on Ronaldo despite being stretchered off in the first half an hour El Capitano had much praise for his teammates after his nation won their maiden title.
“I’m so happy. This is something I have wanted for a long time now, ever since 2004. The Portuguese people deserve this, our players deserve this. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for me but I’ve always believed in these players. They have quality and ability.”
The Real Madrid star also touched upon the importance of the feat in his glittering career.
“This is one of the happiest moments of my career. I’ve always said I wanted to win a trophy with the national team and make history. I’d like to thank my team-mates, our coach, our wider team at this EURO, and the Portuguese people cheering us on. This is a unique moment for me. It’s unforgettable.”
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann was disappointed despite winning the Golden Boot award after facing defeat in his second final in as many months.“
“I’m very disappointed for my team-mates. I really wanted to offer them this trophy, but I couldn’t score and I’m disappointed.”
Twitter erupted as a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal triumphed over the star-studded hosts. The winners took to Twitter to celebrate while other players consoled the hosts.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) July 11, 2016
Campeão europeu 🙌🏽⚽️✌🏽️ pic.twitter.com/qVEUdahYKf
— renatosanches (@renatosanches35) July 10, 2016
— Cédric Soares (@OficialCedric) July 10, 2016
Poor Griezmann. Lost two massive finals in two months, and did more than anyone to get his teams there. His day will come.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) July 10, 2016
Fans had mixed reactions over Portugal winning the Euros. Some were ecstatic on a deserved Euros as Portugal remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.
Great win for Portuga
No typo, France took the L.
— Psalmy (@PsalmyLove) July 10, 2016
Going to bed knowing that Portugal won the euro has to be the greatest feeling of them all, beyond proud of the men 🇵🇹🇵🇹🇵🇹
— Lil’ Bean (@jason9_18_) July 11, 2016
— Rose Hughes (@rosemfallon) July 11, 2016
— Maulida Elegance (@MaulidaMusthafa) July 11, 2016
— Kev (@KevinDeFabulous) July 11, 2016
— anas ikhsanul haqqie (@hqsmansaid) July 11, 2016
every country understimated portugal ha ha glad to show you how wrong you are to think so low of us 😘
— ana | PORTUGAL!! (@rnbzaddy) July 11, 2016
While some fans lamented the Seleccao’s luck in their route to the championship, others were backed by some baffling stats.
— Sayak Raj Podder (@sayak_podder) July 11, 2016
Portugal led for a total of 73 minutes during #EURO2016: 19 min vs. Iceland, 3 min vs. Croatia, 40 min vs. Wales & 11 min vs. France.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 11, 2016
All eyes were on Ronaldo the manager as the Portugese star pumped his squad up and screamed instructions in the dying moments of the game after being stretchered off in the first half of the Final. Fans lauded the Real Madrid star’s spirit and passion for the game and they also had some comments for his managerial skills.
— Maggie Mousa (@magysaeed) July 11, 2016
Viva Ronaldo 🎉🏆
— Patrick (Pa) Ward (@Pa_Ward1) July 11, 2016
— M.Amجad™ (@M_AmGaD) July 10, 2016
A man said Ronaldo’s been a manager for 30 mins & won a trophy before Wenger did. Im going to sleep bruv 😭
— Moe (@MoesusLDN) July 10, 2016
Ronaldo hugged his footballing father Sir Alex Ferguson as the Portugese star was in tears following his nation’s triumph.
— The Sun Football (@TheSunFootball) July 10, 2016