A Portugal sans Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the Euro 2016 hosts France in the final match, when the Portugal substitute Eder netted the ball in 109th minute to help his team clinch the title on July 11.
Ronaldo, Portugal’s all-time leading goal-scorer, was taken off the field in tears with an injured knee in the 24th minute after a rough tackle from France’s Dimitri Payet in the eighth minute.
The game was dominated by the hosts with France’s Sissoko trying to break the Portugese defense and Antoine Griezmann, their leading goal scorer and Golden Boot winner of the tournament taking shots at Portugal, which were well saved by Portugal goal keeper Patricio. After Ronaldo was taken off the field, the game became slow as Portugal had set-up a defensive play and looked in no hurry to carry the ball forward in absence of their star forward.
It was in extra time in 109th minute when Portugal substitute Eder out of nowhere shot from 25 yards away and sent the ball into a corner of the net upsetting Les blues.
While the Protugese captain has been criticised by many during the tournament, team’s coach Fernando Santos was all praises for him. “Our captain made a fantastic effort during this competition, he was criticised many times, but he showed a fantastic team spirit,” he said.
“Twice, he tried everything that was humanly possible to get back into the game but it wasn’t possible,” Santos continued saying.
“His presence in the changing-room was really important thanks to the way in which he supported me and he said it was our day…he believed as much as I did that it was our day,” he added
“It was not the final I wanted, but I am very happy. It is a trophy for all Portuguese, for all immigrants, all the people who believed in us, so I am very happy and very proud,” Portugal Captain and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo told reporters.
“I’ve lost my second final in just over a month and it sucks,”French striker Antoine Griezmann after losing the finals told reporters. Griezmann plays for Atletico Madrid and lost the Champions League Final against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid where Griezmann missed a penalty.