Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo may have not played a big role on the pitch in yesterday’s historic Euro triumph for the team, but he inspired his team-mates with an incredible speech. Full-back Cedric Soares has revealed that the talisman pumped up the team with his speech at half-time.
Ronaldo told his teammates that he had full faith in them, and his morale-boosting speech played a big part in their win, said Soares. “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,” ESPN.in reported.
He also said Ronaldo, visibly upset when he had to go off injured within half an hour of the match, displayed nothing of that, instead showing incredible character. “He was fantastic. His attitude was unbelievable. Always he helped a lot our teammates, he always had a lot of motivational words and all the team of course reacted to them, so it was very good.
“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,” ESPN.in reported.
Speaking about the difficult moment when they realized that the Real Madrid star would no longer be part of the final, Soares said, “It was a very tough moment. I remember, for me and the team, everybody was a little bit in shock I think”.
Ronaldo was brought down by Dimitri Payet in the 8th minute of the Euro final, and he immediately showed signs of being in immense pain. Despite multiple attempts at returning to the game after receiving treatment, he was finally stretchered off in the 25th minute, weeping inconsolably. He returned to the dug-out after the end of 90 minutes and could be seen motivating his mates, even acting as assistant-manager at the fag end of extra time. His efforts finally paid off, as Eder struck the ball past French captain Hugo Lloris to win Portugal their first major international trophy.