There is nothing wrong with a game that doesn’t have a lot of goals. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t entertaining. Portugal were not supposed to make the final before they struggled in the group stage. Yes, they have consistently been contenders the last decade, but they have not been favorites. But this final, Portugal played amazing considering they didn’t have Ronaldo.
For example, Ronaldo got hit in the 7th minute and Portugal basically played a man down until the 25th minute when he surrendered to the pain and Queresma came on for him as he cried putting the captain’s armband on Nani.
Portugal basically played without Ronaldo the entire game. That alone should have been reason enough for France to win. Portugal instead played harder, angry at their captain and hero being taken out… determined to keep France from taking control of the game with a brilliant performance from the defenders and Rui Patricio who kept them alive. What a tournament for Pepe, probably the best of his career for Portugal.
Everyone involved in Portugal’s attack controlled the ball and worked the flanks but struggled to drive it up the middle before Eder came on. They were involved in defending and refused to give up.
Portugal are deserving Champions. They lost to no one. They may have struggled to win… but they did what it took be it surviving the group stage with 3 draws, a stoppage time winning goal at the end of the game against Croatia, penalty against Poland, 2 goals in the regulation time against Wales, then a goal at the end of extra time in the final against France.
Hate Ronaldo all you want and complain this final was boring. Portugal were a beautiful underdog story, a nation who never won a title going against the hosts and team of the tournament who have a rich tradition of being one of the best national teams. Portugal fought 120+ minutes to take down a far superior team without their superstar. Viva Portugal! Worthy European Champions!