No one has experienced a 2016 quite like Renato Sanches. The 18-year-old midfielder was a hot prospect in the Benfica academy 12 months ago and now finds himself starting a major international final.
Having sufficiently stormed onto the stage in the Primeira Liga, Bayern Munich agreed a deal worth €35million to sign him earlier this year. He has justified that outlay during Euro 2016 with a series of impressive displays for Portugal.
Now, he can claim to have broken a longstanding Cristiano Ronaldo record and he did it before Sunday's final against France even kicked off. The record, you may have guessed, is the youngest player ever to start a European Championship final.
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At 18 years and 326 days old, Sanches breaks the record set by Ronaldo in the 2004 final. The Real Madrid star, then of Manchester United, was just 19 years and 150 days old when he started the ill-fated final against Greece.
While Ronaldo's myriad goalscoring records are most probably safe from his young compatriot, it is another indication of just how good Sanches can be. Indeed, Bayern Munich committed a potential £63m into signing him with over half of that made up of performance-related clauses.
And now he can also claim to have lasted longer than Ronaldo in the final after the 31-year-old withdrew after 23 minutes.
Unfortunately, Ronaldo could not go on to inspire Sanches and his other Portugal teammates after he went down with a knee injury early in the first half. Dimitri Payet appeared to jar the 31-year-old's knee in a rough challenge. Ronaldo carried on for ten minutes more before falling to the floor in tears.
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