The world's media react to the UEFA EURO 2016 final
We are European champions! The conquest of our first title ever was achieved in the home of the host team with a goal scored by Éder with 109 minutes gone and with Cristiano Ronaldo out of play since the 25th minute.
Jornal de Noticias
The greatest moment in the history of Portuguese football was written with a plot that not even the most original of screenwriters could imagine, much less write. Twelve years after the final defeat at home against Greece, Portugal were on the other side of the barricades. France had a bus ready to party with the word ‘champions’, the Eiffel Tower promised to turn blue, but it was black as night, black as the Gaul’s hearts.
Everyone was a hero (giving each player a rating of 10/10).
Devastated. This morning, France wakes up with a feeling of wasted chances. Portugal were a team within reach, less strong than Germany, but in football it’s not always the best team that wins. Ten years after the disappointment in Berlin against Italy at the 2006 World Cup, France lose again, and it’s far from certain that they will bounce back quickly, given what the history of French football has taught us about the difficulty of carrying out big tasks and the sluggishness of our accomplishments.
France fans can take positives from this lost final, especially the confirmation that Les Bleus have a great forward in their ranks. The statistic is remarkable: Antoine Griezmann finished top scorer at the EURO with six goals, the second highest total at a single edition behind Michel Platini, who scored nine at EURO ’84. With five goals in the knockout phase (two against Ireland, one against Iceland and two against Germany), he is also the top scorer in knockout matches in EURO history.
Portugal have done it! Eder’s late strike won it for the Ronaldo-less Selecçao in the second half of extra time. They’ve well and truly buried the ghost of Lisbon 2004 by giving hosts France a taste of the very same medicine. Cristiano Ronaldo is in tears again – tears of joy! Portugal certainly didn’t play football to go down in the annals of the beautiful game at France 2016, but they won’t care: they’re European champions for the first time.
Ronaldo’s night ended prematurely, as the Real Madrid man suffered a devastatingly untimely knee injury after a collision with Dimitri Payet. Yet Portugal, who have been strong and steadfast throughout the entire tournament, summoned a monumental defensive effort and struck in the waning moments to send their fans into raptures and help erase the bitter disappointment of their Euro 2004 final defeat to Greece on home soil.
Corriere della Sera
Adieu les Bleus. It was a night of tears in Saint-Denis. Tears of anger early in the game for Cristiano Ronaldo when he was forced out after a clash with [Dimitri] Payet. Tears of disappointment at the final whistle for France, stunned by Portugal, who went to paradise despite losing their greatest player in the final. Portugal, focused and determined for the entire game, were almost better without Ronaldo. They have to thank a great Rui Patrício and a bit of luck when [André-Pierre] Gignac hit the post in added time. But in extra time they fully deserved this triumph.
Het Laatste Nieuws
Portugal, and not host nation France, will rule over European football for the next four years. Substitute Éder put the people of France into deep mourning in the 109th minute. France dominated Portugal down the middle, but could not prevent defeat. One shot and the power block was blown into pieces. Everything Cristiano Ronaldo has given to Portugal, he now gets returned by his team-mates with the cup. They fought for him, and have done everything to make his career prize-list complete.
What an unlikely hero for Portugal – and Swansea fans will be more shocked about it than the rest of us. Éder signed for the Swans for £5m last summer. He left in January after 13 goalless Premier League appearances, moving on loan to Lille – who have since signed him permanently. But in the biggest game of his career, he wrote his name into Portuguese folklore.
When Portugal beat Wales to reach the UEFA EURO 2016 final, Cristiano Ronaldo said he was not afraid to cry again, but wanted it to be tears of happiness this time. Well, he did cry again. First because of the injury, then after Éder’s winning goal which made Portugal European champions for the first time in their history.
Ronaldo’s tears about his injury turned into unbounded joy as Portugal secured their first ever trophy. Wednesday’s clash with Wales represented a seventh major tournament semi-final but brought with it progress for just the second time, 12 years on from the ignominy of falling to Greece at the end of the European Championship they hosted. The roles reversed at the Stade de France as the underdogs ploughed on after Ronaldo’s first-half injury, making amends for the humiliation of 2004 by winning their first major trophy as Éder secured a 1-0 win.
Portugal shocked France without Ronaldo: Crazy Portuguese night in Paris.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Ronaldo celebrated the goal alone, walking down the sideline pumping his fists to himself, somewhere between ecstasy and tears. He had not quite managed to join the team in the Promised Land, but they would never have got there without him. He had dragged his team to the final and they had repaid the favour. Maybe Ronaldo would have preferred to have scored the winning goal. But the joy on his face as he lifted the trophy told you that this way was good enough.
Éder’s goal transported the Portuguese to Eden. Portugal were the last team to arrive in France and also the last to leave and the first to win the trophy after being third in their group.
New York Times
The French were subdued. But while it would have been better to win, many there said that the soccer tournament, which was held in France, had been a rare moment of unity in a divisive time and that they could be proud of making it to the final. “Only soccer can do this,” said Amir Hallouz, 20, who had come from the Paris suburb of Colombes with a group of friends to watch the game. “It brings everyone together.”
Cristiano Ronaldo only played 25 minutes but he still managed to lift the European Championship trophy for Portugal for the first time. While many believed Portugal’s hopes rested on the shoulders of their prolific captain, it was two players who stepped up to ensure their nation came away with the title. [Rui Patrício and Pepe, both rated 9/10].