It has been a long time coming but Portugal have at last won a major football tournament, snatching a 1-0 victory over hosts France in extra time. It means Portugal are the champions of Euro 2016
From the moment the ball was in the back of the net fans in Lisbon were euphoric, while in Paris among French supporters it was another story. It was a cruel outcome after the party mood at the begining of the match – defeat had been unthinkable.
Reporting for euronews in Paris, Paola Vilaplana said:
“Football is full of surprises and Euro 2016’s final was one of them. Few could imagine at the start of the competition that Portugal would become Champions of Europe. Joy in Portugal and sadness here in France who could not crown themselves champions at home.”
After the match our reporter sought reactions from supporters on both sides.
“I don’t know how to describe it… A dream… A reality… For Portugal, and… We’re champions!” said one delighted Portugal fan.
While another explained: “I live here in France, and I’m grateful for having been able to make my life here. But at the same time this is the happiest day of this year, most joyous…being able e to bring the Cup home, to Portugal.”
Among French fans things were naturally a bit more subdued: “I’m a bit disappointed to have lost, but what can you do…. We’ve had a good run, well, it’s a pity.”
However his friend was extremely happy – “I’m very glad, it’s the first victory for Portugal, we’ve been waiting for it after so many disappointments, in particular in 2004… But now Portugal are champions, that’s all that matters, we’re here to party.”
UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) July 10, 2016
“Today I feel like the Germans who lost in the semi-finals. We should have won today 20 times over, but we’ve lost. It’s sad because they (Portugal) had just one strike – and it was a goal.”
Not all supporters reacted in the spirit of the game. At one point police said they were forced to fire tear gas and use water canon to disperse dozens of people trying to enter the “fan zone” at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to prevent overcrowding.Around 40 people were arrested.
But despite some chaotic behaviour, on the whole the atmosphere in the French capital was one of celebration after the staging of a successful tournament.
Portugal 1-0 France: five talking points from the Euro 2016 final https://t.co/SzJK2cKabM— Guardian news (@guardiannews) July 10, 2016