Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal deserved Euro 2016 triumph


The Real Madrid forward's final looked set to end in misery when he was forced off in the 25th minute after sustaining a knee injury, but that didn’t stop him from supporting his team from the sidelines. And he watched on as Eder scored the winner in the 109th minute with a scorching strike as Portugal won their first European Championship title.

Portugal featured in the Euro 2004 final, but failed to get the job done as they were stunned 1-0 by Greece.

"Portugal have deserved this after many years of sacrifice. No one believed in us," Ronaldo told reporters. "I had already won everything with clubs. I lacked something with the national team.

"I'm so happy - very happy. This was something I have wanted for a long time now, ever since [the Euro] 2004 [final defeat].

"I asked God to give me another chance. The Portuguese people deserve this; our players deserved this."

The 31-year-old added that the triumph rates as one of the greatest moments in his illustrious career.

"We beat France and I'm delighted. This is one of the happiest moments in my career," he said. "I've always said I wanted to win a trophy with the national team and make history. And I did it. Thank God, things went well for us.

"I'd like to thank my team-mates, our coach, our wider team in this Euro, the Portuguese people and all the ex-pats who were always with us, cheering for us from the beginning. This is a unique moment for me, for all the Portuguese people and it's unforgettable."

Ronaldo said he had a feeling that Eder, who plays for French side Lille, would score the winning goal.

"I've been in football a long time. I have a lot of feelings. I felt that he was the one who was going to score," he said.