Ronaldo Portugal Euro 2016 trophy
Portugal players cannot hide their delight after winning the Euro 2016 title following a 1-0 victory over France, July 10, 2016Reuters

If ever there was a sign that it was France's destiny to win the Euro 2016 title on home soil, it was when Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal's superstar and the one man who could take the game away from the hosts, was stretchered off in the 23rd minute of the first half. But, Portugal shrugged off the loss of their talisman, said "thou shall not pass" (or the equivalent to that in Portuguese) to the France attackers, before waiting for someone to step up in Ronaldo's absence.

That man was Eder, the striker who plays his club football in France, coming off the bench to fire one hard and low past Hugo Lloris in the 109th minute of the final to give Portugal the European Championship title.

Here is what Ronaldo had to say

France huffed and puffed, forced saves off Rui Patricio and hit the post, but they never could find that goal, come what may, and the longer the match went on, the stronger Portugal, with an extra day's rest, seemed to get.

After Eder forced a save off Lloris in the first half of extra time, Raphael Guerrero struck the bar for Portugal with a sumptuous freekick and with France just starting to feel the pinch, Eder took the ball with his back to goal, shrugged off Laurent Koscielny, and with Samuel Umtiti almost inviting him to shoot, he obliged with a low bullet that flew in past Lloris' right to send Portugal's biggest cheerleader Ronaldo into delirium and the home nation into mourning.

France started the game off with plenty of pace and verve, trying to land the big blow on Portugal early. Antoine Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko, France's best player in the first half, had a couple of efforts go wide, before the leading scorer of the tournament – Griezmann -- saw his looping header, off a delightful ball from Dimitri Payet, saved brilliantly by Rui Patricio.

Then came the tragedy for Portugal, when Ronaldo, after failing to shake off a knee injury, had to be taken off with Ricardo Quaresma coming in, but, ironically, the loss of Portugal's star man just seemed to dull the zest with which France had started their game.

The rest of the first half just meandered a little as both teams came to terms with the fact that Ronaldo would not feature anymore in the game, with Portugal definitely the happier of the two teams to go in with the score locked at 0-0.

France took a little while to find that spark in the second half, with Didier Deschamps' decision to take Payet off for Kingsley Coman, met with a few boos from the Les Bleus fans, giving the home team the impetus and pace they needed to cause Portugal a few problems.

Eder Portugal
Eder and his Portugal teammates go crazy after scoring the winner in the Euro 2016 final against FranceReuters

Coman, after taking down a nice long ball from Paul Pogba, very much in the periphery for much of the game, laid the ball perfectly onto the head of Griezmann, who had got in ahead of the left-back Raphael Guerrero, but, much to everyone's surprise, the man who has already got six goals in Euro 2016, guided his header just above the bar, after mistiming his jump a touch.

Olivier Giroud then forced a strong save from Rui Patricio, with the goalkeeper pushing out a well-hit strike from the Arsenal man from an angle, before the Portugal man had to be called into action again, as a powerful drive from Sissoko threatened to fly in.

In between those two chances, Nani nearly scored at the other end, as a cross from the right swerved towards goal, with Hugo Lloris having to be alert enough to turn the ball around and then stay on point again to deny Quaresma's effort on the rebound.

With the French players tiring and Portugal happy to keep the game at 0-0 for as long as possible, the match went into extra time, but only after substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac, after putting Pepe on his bum with a brilliant bit of individual skill, hit the post.

Portugal would also hit the woodwork in extra time, but they would also hit the back of the net, courtesy Eder, to create history for their country and leave France in complete shock.

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