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Finally Portugal made it and won the Euro 2016 after thrashing France 1-0 in finals. Though Cristiano Ronaldo was out of the match after he injured his knee few minutes after the match begun, but nothing could stop the Portuguese as they were hell bent to lift the cup.  Portugal overpowered France at the Euro 2016 finals when the striker Eder struck the only goal in the extra time and made history by winning the match for Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo though had a painful final match but he was flooded with Euphoria which was visible on the social media when he uploaded his pictures of celebrations once he reached his homeland.

Much of the pre-match build-up focused on Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo with the Portuguese captain gearing up to take part in his second Euro final. The 31-year-old was part of the team that endured a shock 1-0 loss to Greece in the final of 2004 on home soil.

But it was to be a short-lived appearance for the three-time Ballon d’Or winner, with a stretcher and premature substitution needed just after the 20 minute mark after Ronaldo failed to recover from a heavy challenge from France midfielder Dimitri Payet, with the attacker leaving the pitch in floods of tears.

Ronaldo’s exit summed up a difficult opening period for Fernando Santos’ side who struggled to get started against the French, who in comparison were lively and full of invention.

Rui Patricio was at full stretch to keep out Antoine Greizmann in the first ten minutes with the top scorer at Euro 2016 testing the Portuguese keeper with a looping header.

Nani, Portugal’s captain in Ronaldo’s absence, had his side’s best chance of the half, blazing over when put through by a diagonal ball from the back.

 portugal beats france 1-0 in euro final

The Portuguese have flattered to deceive throughout Euro 2016, despite reaching the final.

Three draws in the group stage saw them squeeze through to the first knockout round as one of the best third placed teams, with Croatia beaten in extra-time and Poland on penalties.

Their only win before the final came against the Welsh, who they beat 2-0 in Lyon in the semi-finals.

For France, it was a galling way to end the tournament, but the truth for Didier Deschamps and his players is that they did not show enough wit and creativity around the penalty area. Olivier Giroud had one of his frustrating nights, Griezmann faded after an encouraging start and it was strange that Deschamps decided to take off Dimitri Payet in the 57th minute when the West Ham player had been troubling his opponents. Maybe the enormity of the occasion was weighing on French minds, or perhaps it worked against them that they had a day fewer than Portugal to prepare. Whatever the truth, they will be left to contemplate why they were unable to take advantage of Ronaldo’s misfortune.

The injury occurred after eight minutes when Payet’s knee followed through, at speed, into the side of Ronaldo’s left leg and there was not a single moment from that point onwards when the Real Madrid player looked pain-free.

Nine minutes later he was down again, signalling for help, before being taken off for a second round of treatment. This being Ronaldo, there was a desperate attempt to see how far his powers could stretch, but it always seemed unrealistic when he made one last attempt to run it off. Ronaldo finally conceded defeat in the 25th minute and collapsed to the ground for the third occasion.

The ovation as he was carried off suggested the crowd recognised genuine greatness. His team-mates, however, seemed intent on making sure his absence was not the decisive factor.

Reena Rawat
Author: Reena Rawat

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