Portugal won UEFA EURO 2016 title without the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo as their captain forced off early in the first half through injury
PARIS (France) – A thundering out-of-the-blue shot by substitute Eder gave Portugal a shock 1-0 win over France in the European Championship final 2016, as they secured their first major international title despite losing captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to injury.
Eder collected the ball in midfield, held off his marker and fired a low 25-metre shot past Hugo Lloris with 11 minutes of extra time left to stun the Stade de France after the home team had dominated the match.
France nearly snatched a win in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes when Andre-Pierre Gignac’s shot rebounded off the post while Raphael Guerreiro hit the crossbar with a free kick for Portugal in extra-time.
Portugal´s coach Fernando Santos and the other players paid tribute to Ronaldo´s role in urging the team not to give up in the tense match at the Stade de France. Ronaldo returned from treatment at the end of 90 minutes to give pep talks to his teammates.
Portugal snuck up on this tournament after drawing all three games in the group stage and finishing third. It didn’t beat any of its opponents in regulation until the semifinal win over Wales. But over the course of those games, Santos’s men grew into a mean defensive unit.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) July 10, 2016
The drought is over.
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2016
— InfoCristiano (@InfoCristiano) July 11, 2016
Like France, Portugal knows the heartbreak of losing the Euros on home turf all too well. Twelve years ago, when Ronaldo was 19 years old and already a starter for the national team, his side was stunned by Greece in the final in Lisbon.
Antoine Griezmann said, ‘Portugal isn’t just Ronaldo, We saw that.’
France spent 450 million euros ($500 million) preparing 10 stadiums for Euro 2016 which could be the last hosted in one country. Euro 2020, the 16th tournament, will be held in 13 cities in 13 different countries from Azerbaijan to Wales.
Renato Sanches named Young Player of the Tournament
Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches has been named as SOCAR Young Player of the Tournament at UEFA EURO 2016. The award winner – open to all players born on or after 1 January 1994 – was chosen by the UEFA technical observers, led by UEFA chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu and including Sir Alex Ferguson and Alain Giresse.
Sanches scored his first goal for his country that night in Marseille, making him the third-youngest player to register in a EURO finals fixture.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-breaking EURO
After experiencing both heartbreak and joy in the final, Cristiano Ronaldo ended UEFA EURO 2016 having increased his remarkable impact on UEFA European Championship history.
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.
Antoine Griezmann wins Euro 2016 Golden Boot
Antoine Griezmann has finished Euro 2016 on a high after winning the tournament’s Golden Boot award.
The Atletico Madrid star ended the competition on six goals, three more than anyone else in the competition, but it will be of little consolation after France were beaten 1-0 by Portugal in the Final.