Before breaking France’s hearts, Portugal feared the worst by seeing their captain in tears on the pitch. Cristiano had to give up and it was hard to see him cruelly knocked out of this Euro 2016 because of his injury.
But, instead of wallowing in self-pity, Cristiano Ronaldo applied his aura for the benefit of the collective side. He indeed gave a half-time speech to his teammates. A speech that has been described as an « unbelievable » moment. CR7 told them he was « sure » they would beat France during Euro 2016 final.
Portugal full-back Cedric Soares said Ronaldo’s withdrawal was « a very tough moment » for all his teammates. « I remember, for me and the team, everybody was a little bit in shock I think. » But a « fantastic » Ronaldo led them to glory.
Maxime H. - 11/07/2016
« In half-time, Cristiano had fantastic words for us. He gave us a lot of confidence and said 'listen people, I'm sure we will win, so stay together and fight for it'. It was really unbelievable. I think all the team had a fantastic attitude. And we showed tonight when you fight as one you are much much stronger. »
« Yes, he had fantastic words for each player in each moment of the game ... I'm really really happy to be part of this group and be champion. Ronaldo was fantastic. His attitude was unbelievable. Always he helped a lot our teammates, he always had a lot of motivational words and all the team of course reacted to them, so it was very good.»
Match-winner Éder also praised CR7’s motivational speech by claiming his Captain had predicted that he would score the Portuguese goal. « Ronaldo told me I would score the winning goal for the teamHe gave me this strength, this energy and it was vital. »
« It was a goal I've been working for from the first minute of the Euros, » LOSC Lille forward added. « For all the work we did, for all of the Portuguese, it's fantastic. It's well deserved and we should all be congratulated. »