Portugal and France went into halftime of the Euro 2016 championship deadlocked at 0-0. It was a first half that saw Cristiano Ronaldo substituted out due to a knee injury, which obviously wasn’t great for Portugal.
But Ronaldo gave the Portuguese team an amazing speech at halftime that Cedric Soares says gave them, “a lot of confidence,” and Portugal went on to win 1-0.
From ESPN FC:
“It was a very tough moment,” Soares said. “I remember, for me and the team, everybody was a little bit in shock I think.
“In half-time, Cristiano had fantastic words for us. He gave us a lot of confidence and said ‘listen people, I’m sure we will win, so stay together and fight for it.’
“It was really unbelievable. I think all the team had a fantastic attitude. And we showed tonight when you fight as one you are much much stronger.”
Soares also told ESPN FC that Ronaldo’s attitude never diminished despite having to come out of one of the biggest matches of his career:
“Yes, he had fantastic words for each player in each moment of the game … I’m really really happy to be part of this group and be champion.”
Portugal needed extra time to win the match, but it might have made the victory that much sweeter to get it done before penalty kicks were needed. Eder knocked in a sweet long-range strike in the 109th minute to give them the lead and the only goal they would need to take home the title.
Despite Ronaldo not being on the field, his impact was still there, and he clearly had a hand in helping his teammates.