No longer the bridesmaids. Or best men. Or whatever you call male people who always used to finish 2nd but have now won big.
The Golden Generation of Portuguese players – Figo, Deco, Pauleta, and that other fella all retired a while back without experiencing the glory this generation has bestowed on their nation.
And they iced the cake in the final without their main man, lynchpin, star turn, or whatever you call the guy who makes a team tick, who stands head and shoulders above the rest, talent-wise.
When Ronaldo’s leg could take no more, and he sat dejected on the field, seemingly oblivious to the fluttering not flattering attentions of a consoling moth, his nation must have thought their hopes of glory were over.
This team has shown there will be life after Ronaldo, not that we should expect him to hang up his international boots until after the next World Cup at least.
Sure, they won just one game in 90 mins (v Wales), drew all their Group games and finished 3rd in what was a fairly weak looking group. But they did what they needed to do and come away with the trophy, the title and the legendary status.
They may never win a tournament again, but that doesn’t matter. England’s heroes of 1966 have been dining out on that victory for 50 years. This crop of Portuguese can expect the freedom of their country until their dying day, so had best watch their waistlines.
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