While it’s now five years since Portugal won Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous speech after beating France in the final remains unforgotten for many fans.
July 10, 2016, was a day like no other for Cristiano Ronaldo. From an early heart-breaking injury to the ecstasy of winning the European Championship, he experienced the highs and lows of football in one nerve-racking scoop. Yet he came out of it with a winner’s medal and a place in the history books.
Say what you like about Ronaldo, but one thing for sure is that this man lives to win. His every eating, sleeping, and breathing moment is dedicated to success – no matter what.
And what Ronaldo did on the touchline in the Euro 2016 final will probably forever stick to our minds. The forward may have been out injured, but since when has that ever stopped him? He instead barked out orders to his teammates and tried to motivate them, almost like a 12th man.
Eder’s extra-time goal sealed Portugal a famous 1-0 win for the national team’s first ever major international trophy.
After lifting the Henri Delaunay Cup, Ronaldo then addressed everyone in the Portugal dressing room and humbly thanked them for their efforts in this emotional and powerful speech.
Pointing at Portugal manager Fernando Santos, Ronaldo began: “I would like to thank this man right here. First of all, without him, none of this would be possible.
“Second, to all the players, all the staff, everyone involved in this conquest. No one believed in Portugal, but the truth is we made it. All of us. We did it.
“I am very happy. This is one of the happiest days of my life. Forget the individual trophies, the Champions League. This one right here is the happiest moment of my life.
“I have cried 3 or 4 times already. My brother told me to calm down and I said: ‘Hugo I can’t’.”
“It’s true, from the bottom of my heart. I swear on my son’s life I am so very very very happy. I could repeat this 100 times.
“This is the trophy that was missing thanks to all of you, players, all the staff, and you again coach. All the faith you had, honestly, it touched me. To all the medical staff, the security, Joaquin, Ricardo, Miguel, my brother…From the bottom of my heart. I am truly happy.
“We deserved this. We are in the history of Portugal. We are the first team to achieve this.”
What happened in the final?
Ronaldo lasted just 25 minutes in Paris before a knee injury forced him out of the final. The injury came as a result of an early clash between the Portugal captain and France midfielder Dimitri Payet.
Despite Ronaldo being carried off in tears, Portugal held on without their star player. France, who were the favorites, couldn’t capitalize on CR7’s absence and were kept goalless in normal time.
Eder then hit a low, 25-yard drive past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 109th-minute to seal Portugal victory and the team a spot in history for eternity.