Congratulations to Portugal, European Champions 2016!
An extra time winner from former Swansea man Eder was enough to silence the home nation and had Cristiano hobbling up the stairs to get his hands on that trophy.
The final itself summed up the majority of the tournament. Slow, tactical and at times left you struggling to stay awake.
In a game desperately in need of an opening goal, the 2 best chances did fall to the hosts. Griezmann should have buried a header from a superb Coman cross and with virtually the last kick in 90mins Gignac beat Rui Patricio but saw his effort clip the post and roll away to safety.
Portugal were, as expected extremely organised and even with the body blow of losing their talisman early in the game had enough spirit to win their 1st major international trophy.
Deserved or not Ronaldo seemed overjoyed to finally have led his nation to silverware. Might just have had a little something to do with Messi’s most recent final loss with Argentina and subsequent retirement we suspect!
Now that the final is over and done with let’s have a look back and give some of our winners in various categories…
Player of the Tournament – Antoine Griezmann
The French forward was a clear winner in this category for us. His 6 goals making him the top scorer and he drove his nation into the final single headedly on occasion. He looked tired against Portugal but did not deserve a runners up medal for his efforts over the last month.
Goal of the Tournament – Xherdan Shaqiri
Some cracking contenders for best strike but Shaqiri’s overhead kick just shaded it for us. It took Switzerland into extra time and was a thing of pure beauty. Honourable mentions go to Wales’ Robson-Kanu for his turn and finish against Belgium whilst Croatia’s Modric’s dipping volley against Turkey was also special.
Match of the Tournament – Hungary 3-3 Portugal
Sadly there wasn’t a lot to choose from here but there were a couple of standout games, none more so than this 6 goal thriller. The final game in group F became so very key looking back on it now. Portugal had sneaked through despite trailing on 3 occasions and as news filtered through that Iceland had scored a late winner in the other game Portugal knew they were in the “easier” half of the draw.
Wales 3-1 Belgium and Italy 2-0 Spain also provided good entertainment.
Team of the Tournament – 4-4-2 Formation
Additional moments of Euro 2016
- Iceland’s performance and Viking chant (coming to a ground near you this season)
- Zlatan’s international retirement
- All 4 qualified home nations progressing through the group stages
- Will Grigg being continuously on fire despite not kicking a ball
- The terrible penalties witnessed in Germany v Italy
- The moths invading Stade De France
- Ronaldo’s tears and subsequent coaching performance
Euro 2016 provided some great moments and fairytale stories but was largely a poor tournament.
52 games produced just 108 goals, on 31 occasions both teams did not score in the same match and overall the average was just 1 goal every 44mins. Is this the best European national sides have to offer?
We believe that UEFA need to reduce the teams as the extension has created a different mentality this time around.
Portugal have won EURO 2016 winning 1 game in the regulation 90mins whilst failing to defeat Austria, Iceland and Hungary in the group stage. This should not allow any side to progress through in the way that the Portuguese have.
Roll on Russia 2018 where the added competition from other parts of the globe will create added spark and hopefully a more exciting tournament. Let’s just hope that the fan behaviour in the streets of France was not a test run for next time.
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