On a night where Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann were expected to take centre stage, former Swansea reject Eder was the unlikely hero as Portugal were crowned Euro 2016 champions.
France were favourites heading into Sunday night’s heavyweight clash but, through a mixture of poor finishing and impressive defending, were unable to break the deadlock.
The hosts largely dominated throughout normal time, with Ronaldo’s 25th-minute exit through injury hampering Portugal’s slim chances of victory.
And then it happened. In the 106th minute, Eder muscled off Laurent Koscielny before firing a wonderful 25-yard strike past Hugo Lloris. Cue hysteria.
In the aftermath of a famous night for Portugal, the Lille striker, who replaced Renato Sanches in the 79th minute, has revealed that Ronaldo predicted he would score the winner at the Stade de France.
He told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, per Sky Sports:
“[Ronaldo] told me I would score the winning goal for the team. He gave me this strength, this energy and it was vital.”
“It was a goal I’ve been working for from the first minute of the Euros.”
“For all the work we did, for all of the Portuguese, it’s fantastic. It’s well deserved and we should all be congratulated.”
Ronaldo was the unfortunate victim of a knee injury that saw the Real Madrid superstar replaced by Ricardo Quaresma with 25 minutes on the clock.
After suffering a hard but fair challenge from Dimitri Payet, the 31-year-old was in noticeable pain but opted to carry on.
It wasn’t meant to be, though, as Ronaldo went down for a third time, throwing his captain’s armband on the ground in frustratation before signalling to the bench he needed replacing.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos has also revealed how Eder told him he would score upon his late introduction.
“When he came on he told me he would score,” he said.
“The ugly duckling went and scored. Now he’s a beautiful swan.”