Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ronaldo's Portugal deliver final knockout in Euro 2016 of shocks

11 July 2016, 07:15

Paris - A thundering out-of-the-blue shot by substitute Eder gave Portugal a shock 1-0 win over France in the European Championship final, delivering the country's first international title as superstar Cristiano Ronaldo watched injured from the touchline.

Ronaldo was stretchered off in tears in the first half and limped on crying with joy again after his side delivered the final knockout blow in the month-long tournament of upsets.

Hosts France dominated the game, as they had nearly every match since the start. But they could not break down a Portuguese defence in which man-of-the-match Pepe was majestic and goalkeeper Rui Patricio produced a string of dramatic saves.

Also read: France, Portugal head for Euro 2016 final showdown

"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," said Ronaldo.

Up against a French team with a whole nation behind them, Portugal healed their own football wound from a shock they suffered twelve years ago. In the 2004 Euro final, Portugal lost to Greece 1-0 on home territory.

Portugal can now expect a momentous national welcome when they return to Lisbon and a ticker-tape parade through the capital on Monday.

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.

He fell the ground in agony in the eighth minute following a clattering challenge from Dimitri Payet. After twice going off for treatment and trying to come back, Ronaldo was definitively carried off.

"He told me I was going to score the winning goal," said Eder who plays for French side Lille and only went on in the 79th minute. "He gave me strength and positive energy."

Dancing Ronaldo

Victory also gave Ronaldo energy. He danced past reporters with other Portugal players as they left the stadium.

"Cristiano is fundamental to us," said Santos. "It would be utopian to not use Ronaldo and all his added value.

"Cristiano could score at any moment and sort everything out on his own but I always said we are a team, we win as a team."

Portugal defended doggedly and threatened occasionally without their inspirational skipper. With 109 minutes gone, Eder beat off a Laurent Koscielny challenge to fire a shot from outside the penalty area that French captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could not even get a hand to.

The tournament featuring 24 teams for the first time failed to produce classic football. And Lloris was the latest to raise questions about the manner of Portugal's wins.

"If they won the tournament it is because they deserved it," Lloris said.

But he described France's luck as "cruel" and added "one can always argue about the way they play, but they are efficient and you must congratulate them."

Santos had always said he does not care if Portugal win "ugly" as long as they win.

The 51 games produced 108 goals, one of the lowest averages for recent international tournaments. The quality was not memorable. But the upset results will go down in history.

Iceland stunned England 2-1, Wales beat Belgium 3-1 in a classic quarter-final and Portugal will long celebrate their win in a stadium that was invaded by swarms of moths.

France started the match as strong favourites after beating Germany 2-0 in the semi-final. Antoine Griezmann scored twice in that game to take his tournament total to a Golden Boot winning six goals.

But the striker who has spent his entire career in Spain and has never played in the French league could not penetrate the Portugal defence. His early header drew a finger-tip save from Rui Patricio. Griezmann said defeat had been a double blow as he also missed a penalty in Atletico Madrid's defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final seven weeks ago.

Moussa Sissoko also drove a thundering shot over the bar while French substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac sent an extra time shot against the post.

"The disappointment is there and it's immense," French coach Didier Deschamps said. "We've let a big chance to be champions pass us by."

Deschamps contract runs until 2018 and the World Cup in Russia. He said he would take time to "digest" the disappointment before thinking about his own future.

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.

Despite some doubts about the 24-country format, UEFA's executive committee "praised the competitiveness of the competition" in a statement after a meeting on Saturday.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...