1st Image (2004): At the young age of 19
(youngest player to ever play a final at the time)
and breaking onto the scene with stellar performances throughout the tournament, he and his star-studded Portuguese team came up just short in the final on their home turf to the underdog Cinderella story of Greece; ending up in tears of heartbreak and pain.
2nd Image (2016): Leading and carrying a team of youngsters, forgotten names, and role players all the way to the final against the host nation (who for many were favorites to win it all prior to the start of the tournament) - only to find himself injured in just 20 minutes of action and forced to sit out the rest of the match. Witnessing his teammates
from the sideline deliver with all the passion and fight that he led them with up to this moment. This time, the tears were of relief, joy, and nightmares erased.
I’m usually neutral to begin the Euro’s, but by the end I usually end up leaning towards certain teams, for this final however I was ok with either team winning initially, but I found myself reminiscing about my experience watching euro 2004 as a kid and how badly I wanted C.Ronaldo and Figo (some of my favorite players) to win at that time; those emotions were ignited again and I just had to hope Portugal would defy all odds and pull it off somehow.
Congrats to Portugal, and congrats to C.Ronaldo for getting his first international trophy. This is the reason I watch sports, for these beautiful narratives, it’s amazing watching certain careers and storylines unfold over the years.
european football (specifically the premier league but also la liga) stresses me TF OUT because every loss is treated like the absolute end of the world. like the way the media talks about arsenal right now you’d think we were getting relegated to the 5th tier of english football at this very moment and this is the last season arsenal will ever exist. in reality, yeah we’re having a rough go of it. but that happens to every team at one point or another. hell, chelsea finished 10th last season and look at them now. obviously this summer’s going to involve a lot of changes and some of them are probably going to be painful, but i promise that this is not the end of the world and we’re all gonna live to see arsenal lift many more premier league trophies.
That first L? Stands for Liverpool. We’re one of only two sides to beat Barcelona at home in the Champions League, the other being Bayern Munich. We are also the only English side to not only ever win at Camp Nou but never lose a competitive match either.
The Uruguayan’s own children present the trophy recognising their father as the top scorer in European football leagues with 40 goals, the second time the FC Barcelona striker has won the coveted accolade