Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo post-match reaction

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Portugal are in the European Championship final for the second time thanks to a bullet-header from Ronaldo and another goal from Nani, which was set up by Bale’s Real Madrid teammate.

“He [Ronaldo] is a natural goalscorer and he scored yet again,” a proud but disappointed Bale said post-match.

“It’s not about them, it’s about us. We’re disappointed but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’re a proud bunch and we’ll stick together and lift the spirits and go again. Nobody expected us to get this far but we’re very proud and have no regrets. We’ll continue to battle on.”

Ronaldo, who said straight after the game that winning the Euro 2016 trophy would be the greatest achievement of his career despite his glittering honours, is happy the dream is still alive.

“It’s what we have dreamt of since the beginning. We knew it would be a long road and we’re still in the tournament,” he said.

“We have believed right from the start. We had difficult moments, but it’s like I always say: it’s better to start poorly and have a positive ending.

“The players deserve it, the coach deserves it. The entire medical staff as well. They have been doing an excellent job with the players’ fitness.

“We haven’t won anything yet, as I said a few days ago, but the dream is still alive. I hope that [after the final] we’ll be smiling and that it will be tears of joy in the end. I’ve always said my dream was to win a trophy with Portugal. We’re closer to doing it and I believe that we’ll win.

“With a lot of work, humility and the spirit of self-sacrifice, which I have always shown in my career, these sorts of things are doable."