In the UEFA Euro 2004 final, a 57th-minute goal from Angelos Charisteas made the entire nation of Portugal cry their hearts out. The Portuguese going into match believed that was the day when their wait for a major trophy would finally end but fate had different plans as the hosts suffered a shock defeat to the tournament’s underdogs Greece. 12 years later, Portugal finally ends their wait for silverware as they defeat the hosts France in extra-time to become the champions of Europe. The same fate which made the Portuguese sink into the depths of agony has rewarded them now.
Christiano Ronaldo won the silver boot after scoring 3 crucial goals for his team and providing 3 assists. Nani who led the team after Ronaldo was substituted posted a picture on Instagram expressing his gratitude after Ronaldo gifted him the silver boot.
"More than a captain you're a champion! Thanks for the gift! Let's go Portugal we are the Champions!” – Nani said on Instagram.
Nani himself had a fine tournament scoring three goals and he recently secured a move to Valencia. He and Ronaldo made a huge contribution to Portugal's success in the tournament along with the likes of Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rui Patricio. Ronaldo would now be one of the favourites to win the next Ballon d'Or after winning two European finals.
France were the favourites going into the game and their semi-final win against world champions Germany added more to their title credentials. To make things worse for Portugal, they lost Cristiano Ronaldo early in the first half. A player who is not just their captain, but whom they had bestowed upon all their hope. Ronaldo was in tears when he left the pitch after being on the receiving end of a challenge from Dimitri Payet. The hosts dominated the game and had chances to win it but they couldn’t make those chances count.
Deep into extra time, the substitute Eder who in 15 appearances, couldn't manage to score a goal for Swansea city in the English premier league pulled a rabbit out of the hat. He scored a sublime goal from outside the box in the 109th minute and became a national hero as Portugal defeated the mighty France against all the odds.
Antoine Griezmann won both the golden boot and golden ball after his impressive performances throughout the tournament. Well, his night ended in tears and if he could choose between those individual awards and the Euro trophy, he would have chosen the latter for sure.