Despite France, Germany, and Spain being the biggest favourites to win Euro 2016, it was Portugal who came away with the win on Sunday, beating Les Bleus on home soil 1-0 in the final.
When Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured after just 25 minutes, the Portuguese prospects of winning a first European Championship suffered a damaging blow. As such Ronaldo’s team-mates were required to assume a greater level of responsibility for trying to unlock the French defence without their talismanic captain.
The Portuguese players did that collectively and came close to scoring on numerous occasions, before Eder found the net with a wonderful low 25-yard drive and became the nation’s unlikely hero.
Portugal didn’t cruise to the Euro 2016 trophy, finishing third in Group F before being forced to play extra time on three ocassions: against Croatia, Poland, and France.
This resulted in some remarkable stats for the Selecao. For instance, they were in the lead for a total of just 73 minutes all tournament.
73 – Portugal have been ahead for only 73 minutes of their 720 minutes played this #Euro2016. Clutch.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) 10 juli 2016
Meanwhile, Portugal won just one of their seven encounters after 90 minutes, their semi-final against Wales (3-1). They drew three times during the group stage, won in extra time against Croatia and France, and after a penalty shoot-out against Poland.
Portugal win #EURO2016 , having won only one out of seven games after 90 mins.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) 10 juli 2016
Ronaldo and his team-mates are also the first team to win a European Championship without winning any of their matches during the group stage. Portugal drew 1-1 against Iceland, 0-0 against Austria, and 3-3 against Hungary.
— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) 10 juli 2016
Last but not least, goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a record amount of saves in the final, equalling Peter Schmeichel’s record from the 1992 final.
— OptaCan (@OptaCan) 10 juli 2016