After his team beat all the odds to emerge champions of the Euro 2016 championship, reports have surfaced about how Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo motivated his team with a powerful speech and also predicted the outcome of the match, down to the scorer.
According to Portugal’s Euro 2016 final hero, Eder, Ronaldo told him he’d score the winning goal against France well before the team’s historic 1-0 defeat of the hosts at the Stade de France on Sunday.
The 28-year-old forward, who came on in the 79th minute for midfielder Renato Sanches and made his presence felt with a thunderous strike past France’s Hugo Lloris in the 109th minute to give Portugal their first major tournament title, said after the match that the Real Madrid superstar, who was forced off with a knee injury in the 25th minute, predicted his decisive goal ahead of time.
“Cristiano told me I would be scoring the winning goal. He and all my teammates,” Eder said. “He gave me strength and positive energy. And that goal was really important.
“A lot of hard work went into it. We worked hard from the first minute and right from the beginning of the Euro. We were spectacular. The Portuguese people deserve this.”
Eder had played just 13 minutes at the European Championship before coming on in the final, but said he’d always believed his moment to make an impact would come.
“Since the first day [I thought my opportunity would come]. Ever since Fernando Santos called me up. He knows what my capabilities are and so does our group,” Eder said.
“They trust me and I have worked hard to contribute and today it was possible. I’m very happy about what we’ve achieved.”
He added: “It was an amazing moment. Our team worked really hard. We knew that the Portuguese people were behind us.
“We fought with immense strength, we were amazing. I think we deserve this title due to the work we put in, all the players and the staff. Portugal had been wanting this title for so long.”