UEFA 2016: Portugal Made History

Photo by Flicker user Gustave Deghilage.

It was a pleasure to get an invitation from my friend from Africa to watch the final game of European Champions League. Millions of soccer fans around the word had the same question “Who is going to win?” Some of them are cheering for the Portugal team, and others are backing France.

Don’t ask me which side I’m on. Most of my African friends are behind France, I think this is because of some of the team members in France are African, such as midfield Blaise Matuidi, who was born in Republic Democratic of Congo; Steve Mandanda, born in Congo who plays as goalkeeper for English Premier League; Moussa Sissoko born Malian parents; and Karim Mostafa Benzam born in Algeria who plays as striker in Real Madrid in Spain.

Most of the France team players were born in France, but from African immigrants’ parents and this why most of African are behind “Les bleus,” the France soccer team.

To another side, some of my friends were behind Portugal because of Christiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal soccer team.  He plays in Real Madrid and he was ranked as the world’s most famous athlete by ESPN.

Ronaldo who broke down in tears at the final whistle on 24 minutes, with an injury in the knee and very shocked, was crying and never thought that this could happen to him in the final game. After losing Ronaldo to be replaced by Ricardo Quaresma in the game, this could be a chance for France team but Portugal team never seemed to worry. Both teams never had chance to win in 90 minutes.

After extra time, on 109th minute, Eder picked up the perfect moment to score his first competitive goal for Portugal. With a big shot, he won 1 goal to 0, and that was the final score of the game.  France soccer team, playing at home, were hoping to celebrate a third European champions League trophy.

France soccer team fans were crying as I was watching the match, and Portugal fans were singing and dancing in victory. Former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who lost to Greece in the 2004 final hosted by Portugal, showered praise on the players.”Portugal had deserved this European champion title since 2004. Portugal was able to get back the title that we lost in 2004,” he told the media.

The Portugal team celebrated the trophy with thousands in the streets of Lisbon and met Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of Portugal who honored them as hero. The French team has won the European Championship two times, in 1984 and in 2000 and this year was his third time France host this tournament, while Portugal won the tournament for the first time..

This year 2016, was the 15th UEFA European Championship, 24 teams were in the competition and at least 105 goals scored in 51 matches played.




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