The Euro 2016 final on Sunday needed extra time and a spectacular goal from Portugal to see Cristiano Ronaldo hoist his first major international tournament championship trophy. However, all around Paris the scenes were much different as police and fans of both Portugal and France clashed.
Perhaps the worst of it came around the Eiffel Tower, where the fan zone for the final was located. With some 80,000 fans already in the zone, police shut down the entrance due to capacity issues just before the match started.
It meant water cannons turned on fans trying to still get in, tear gas being employed, and fires being set.
Yet, that was just one of what people across Paris are describing as running battles all throughout the weekend between fans of both teams and the police.
Part of it is France’s reputation for harsh treatment of any sort of disturbance involving soccer fans, while the other part appears to be a continuing trend at the Euro 2016 tournament. The beginning of which was marred by attacks between Russian and English fans in Marseille before the tournament began.
The two sets of fans also clashed in the stands, with Russian hooligans charging after the English fans in the stands as the match as winding down.
Croatian fans also were seen as a major problem, nearly costing their team thanks to violent protests against their own governing body. Flares were launched on to the field of play in one match, nearly blinding and making an official deaf as one exploded right by the back line referee.
While some may believe the runs of teams like Iceland and Wales gave the Euro 2016 championships plenty of positive vibes, it was hard to overcome the scenes of violence that played on throughout the tournament and the obvious tension between fans and the French police.