Cristiano Ronaldo added another accomplishment to his illustrious career by lifting the Euro 2016 title with Portugal.
The 31-year-old suffered an injury just 25 minutes into the final against France and was forced to play cheerleader on the sidelines as Selecao pushed for glory.
Eder’s strike in extra-time secured the title for Fernando Santos’s men for the first time, breaking French hearts in the Stade de France, allowing Ronaldo another moment of triumph.
The success for the three-time Ballon d’Or winner came just over a month since he guided Real Madrid to their second Champions League crown in three years.
Ronaldo will now aim to make further history by attempting to secure back-to-back European titles for Zinedine Zidane’s men, who will look to become the first team since the competition was reformed in 1992 to achieve the feat.
The Galacticos are backed at 9/2 in the UEFA competitions betting odds to win the crown, and the Portuguese and his team-mates will know that they will have to be at their best throughout to lift the trophy again.
Real defeated their city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final, and were not without a shade of fortune to claim victory in the competition as Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty before Yannick Carrasco eventually sent to the game to extra-time.
In the lottery of the shootout it was Zidane’s men who held their nerve as Juanfran’s effort cannoned off the post, allowing Ronaldo to score the winning penalty, firing past Jan Oblak.
Zidane and his team will know that they will be hunted next season, with Barcelona, Atletico and Bayern Munich determined to dethrone them, and all look well stocked to do so.
Surprisingly it was Real’s defence that was the key to their ultimate victory in Milan as they conceded just six goals in their 13 matches, keeping 10 clean sheets.
Their only real danger was their stunning loss to Wolfsburg in the first leg of the quarter-finals, but Ronaldo saved his team in the return contest, notching a hat-trick to send Real into the semis.
The Portuguese scored 16 goals in the competition, falling just shy of his record of 17 set in the 2013-14 campaign.
At the age of 31 Ronaldo will know that his days at the top of nearing an end, with Gareth Bale waiting in the wings to take over the mantle as the leading superstar of the Bernabeu.
With teams’ hungry to supplant Real at the top, he will have to continue his rich vein of form in Europe for his team to have hope of achieving history.
Ronaldo has achieved all there is in the game – bar winning the World Cup. His final moment of true greatness could come next year at the Millennium Stadium by defying the efforts of Real’s great rivals to win the Champions League for the fourth time of his career.
At this stage the 31-year-old can only enhance his legacy, and guiding Madrid to another European crown would be the icing on the cake and another barb towards his adversary Lionel Messi.
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