Portugal win Euro 2016 football championship
In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo had his hands on the trophy even if it was not the way the ultimate showman had intended. Portugal, the team that finished third in their group, had found a way even on a night when their greatest footballer was taken off on a stretcher. The players of France were on their knees and suddenly it was a sunrise of a smile on Ronaldo’s face, in stark contrast to the devastation that had been seen earlier in the night.
Has any player been through as many contrasting emotions in the space of a major final? Ronaldo was in tears when he left the pitch with his damaged knee in the first half. He had tried desperately to carry on and when he finally accepted it was futile it felt like a grievous setback to Portugal’s hopes of denying France the outcome that would have meant so much in this city. Ronaldo looked broken. The final was deprived of its main attraction and at that stage it was tempting to wonder whether his team-mates truly believed they could cope.