nani ronaldo portugal.

Nani explains what changed when Cristiano Ronaldo got injured during Euro 2016 final

Published 6 Comments

Cristiano Ronaldo received an awful lot of the credit for Portugal’s unexpected Euro 2016 triumph, despite the fact he only played 25 minutes of the final against France.

Stretchered off following a challenge by Dimitri Payet, the Real Madrid superstar passed the captain’s armband to his former Manchester United teammate Nani.

Portugal’s odds of lifting the trophy lengthened considerably after Ronaldo went off; France, it seemed, were nailed on to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup in front of their expectant home fans at the Stade de France.


Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article:

Article continues below

However, Portugal didn’t follow the script. Eder’s goal in the 109th minute earned Fernando Santos’ side a shock win.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, had ensured everyone was talking about him by returning to the touchline in extra-time to help rally his teammate.

Article continues below

Nani explains what changed when Ronaldo went off

Explaining how Portugal won the match without Ronaldo on the pitch, Nani has revealed what changed when the three-time Ballon d’Or winner went off.

“It was a very strange feeling when Cristiano went off because I was very upset about losing our captain and our best player,” Nani said, in an interview with the Guardian. “But very quickly I had to put my head up and try to help the team, try to give them the confidence and motivation to continue. I had to do my job. I had to do what captains have to do.


“The thing that changed was that I was shouting to my players, to the younger players, giving them motivation. And it was fantastic. We deserved to win and it’s in history now. It’s something we’ll remember for ever. It’s once-in-a-lifetime.”

Nani: It was the best thing of my career

Nani, who joined Valencia after the European Championships, played a more important role than Ronaldo in the final but went under the radar because of his compatriot’s touchline antics.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is still delighted with how things panned out - describing that night on July 10 as the best of his career.

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016

“It was the best thing of my career because it was for my country,” Nani added. “Every player wants to win something for his country. It’s amazing how the Portuguese people lived this and the feeling that they gave to us when we got home was incredible.

“We proved a lot of doubters wrong. We drew our three group games but when it mattered the most, we were decisive.”


Did Cristiano Ronaldo get too much praise for Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Manchester United
Euro 2016

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again