Ronaldo said I would score: Eder
A THUNDERING out-of-the-blue shot by substitute Eder gave Portugal a shock 1-0 win over France in the European Championship final, delivering the country's first international title as superstar Cristiano Ronaldo watched injured from the touchline.
He was stretchered off in tears in the first half and limped on crying with joy again after his side delivered the final knockout blow in the month-long tournament of upsets.
Hosts France dominated the game, as they had in nearly every match since the start.
But they could not break down a Portuguese defence in which man-of-the-match Pepe was majestic and goalkeeper Rui Patricio produced a string of dramatic saves.
"It was not the final I wanted but I am very happy. It is a trophy for all Portuguese, for all immigrants, all the people who believed in us so I am very happy and very proud," said Ronaldo.
Up against a French team with a whole nation behind them, Portugal healed their own football wound from a shock they suffered 12 years ago. In the 2004 Euro final, Portugal lost to Greece 1-0 on home territory.
Portugal can now expect a momentous national welcome when they return to Lisbon and a ticker-tape parade through the capital.
Portugal's coach Fernando Santos and the other players paid tribute to Ronaldo's role in urging the team not to give up in the tense match at the Stade de France. Ronaldo returned from treatment at the end of 90 minutes to give pep talks to his team-mates.
"(Ronaldo) told me I was going to score the winning goal," said Eder who plays for French side Lille and went on only in the 79th minute. "He gave me strength and positive energy." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE