Portugal brought France to the ground! The Seleção, deprived of Cristiano Ronaldo due to injury, was crowned champion of Europe thanks to a shot from… striker Lille Eder in the 110th minute (1-0 afterwards).
Finally, the Portuguese, the people of football, have a title to add to their hitherto empty record.
We would have preferred to start differently. Through the story of a genius inspiration, an extraordinary goal, a perfect gesture. But a tackle that was poorly controlled at best and not even allowed by Dimitri Payet on Cristiano Ronaldo in the eighth minute decided otherwise.
Ronaldo leaves the field prematurely
It's 9:25pm when the triple Ballon d'Or winner must face facts and demand change. His lifelong dream – to give Portugal the first title in its history – has faded. Maybe forever. His tears, as they were during the 2004 European Championship final, which he lost in Lisbon to Greece, continued to flow as he pinned the captaincy on Nani's arm.
On a mission for their captain on the wing, the Portuguese gave their all on the field, driven by a clearly outnumbered crowd but impressively holding the lead against the natives. Ironically, the Blues, who were preparing to face the Seleção led by Ronaldo, lost the thread a little in the face of this agreement and united in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
As against Germany, the French put enormous pressure on their opponents in the first ten minutes and it took a stunning drive from Rui Patricio with a header from Antoine Griezmann for the score not to be opened in the tenth minute.
Moussa Sissoko, brilliant in his penetration, also had his chance in the 33rd minute, but the Portuguese goalkeeper kept his eye on things again. On the other hand, Rui Patricio was hit by a poorly aimed header a few centimeters away from Griezmann (66).
The French attack did not find a solution
Hence, France will never succeed in imposing its dominance over the meeting. It certainly took an alert and quick Rui Patricio to hit a shot from Olivier Giroud (75') and a rocket from Sissoko (84'), but Hugo Lloris also had to work, twice in a few seconds, on a ferocious cross from Nani and the goalkeeper. Delivery from Joao Mario (80). But no goal was scored, as Andre-Pierre Gignac hit the post in the 92nd minute!
In the end, Eder, who has never convinced anyone in selection, got his moment of glory just two minutes later when Rafael Guerrero headed a free-kick against the crossbar (108th minute). The Lille player started from the left side, reformed the defense, moved to the center, and dribbled past the French goalkeeper with a cross shot.