“I am very happy. I have been looking

for this for a long time, since 2004. I

asked God for another chance at this

because we deserved it.”

–Cristiano Ronaldo, 10th July 2016.

Before Portugal’s captain lifted the Euro trophy in Paris this Sunday, very few people had pegged the country to to beat a strong French side - favourites to win the tournament. Before the tournament began, the odds were even more daunting. The refrain was simple; Portugal had blown it’s chance to clinch a major trophy in 2004, when a much stronger Portugal side - containing formidable players like Louis Figo, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and a young Ronaldo - was beaten by minnows Greece; that too in Lisbon, Portugal.

Yet in a tournament that has been characterised by strong performances from smaller nations such as Iceland and Wales, Portugal managed to defy the odds in a fashion quite similar to their own failure in 2004; by beating the favourites in their country. The Euro victory becomes a major feather in Ronaldo’s cap, who despite being injured in the opening stages of the continued to encourage other Portuguese players.