Cristiano Ronaldo is entering Euro 2020 as a European champion.
Whenever the legendary Portuguese decides to hang up his boots, you can rest assured that his inspirational triumph at Euro 2016 will play a key role in the GOAT (greatest of all time) debate.
And what made the victory all the more incredible is that Portugal were massive underdogs, scraping through their group in third place and facing hosts France in the final.
Ronaldo winning Euro 2016
However, with Ronaldo scoring three goals en route to the Stade de France, Portugal were able to make history by conquering Europe for the first time courtesy of Eder’s extra-time winner.
And although Ronaldo was forced to watch the victorious moment from the bench because of an injury, he still played a pivotal role in ensuring that his nation lifted the trophy.
Besides, after rallying the troops at half-time and passionately coaching from the sidelines, Ronaldo proved his invaluable leadership skills with a moving speech in the aftermath of their triumph.
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Leading Portugal to glory
We know that because Portugal released footage of Ronaldo’s gripping speech to the victorious squad and staff after their Euro 2016 victory – and it still makes for fantastic viewing.
It was the perfect demonstration that Ronaldo isn’t the self-centred athlete he’s often made out to be, but a dedicated human being doing everything to bring joy to his teammates and nation.
So, without further ado, be sure to check out Ronaldo’s incredible speech down below – complete with a transcription via The Sun – to get yourself hyped up for Euro 2020.
Ronaldo’s inspiring speech
“I would like to thank this man right here (Fernando Santos), first of all without him none of this would be possible. Second, to all the players, all the staff, everyone involved in this conquest.
“No one believed in Portugal, but the truth is we made it. All of us, we did it. I am very happy, this is one of the happiest days of my life.
“Forget the individual trophies, Champions League – this is one of the happiest moments of my life. I have cried three of four times already and my brother had to tell me to calm down.
“And I said: ‘Hugo, I can’t’. It’s true, from the bottom of my heart, I swear on my son’s life, I am so very, very, very happy. I could repeat this 100 times. I am so happy.
“This is the trophy that was missing. Thanks to all of you players, all the staff and you again coach. All the faith you had, honestly, it touched me.
“From the bottom of my heart I am truly happy. We deserved this. We are now in the history of Portugal. We are the first team to achieve this.”
Just imagine having a leader like that in the dressing room. You just know that if Portugal are going to retain their European crown this season, then Ronaldo will have played a massive part in it.
Yes, his best days are behind him and yes, Portugal have other world-class players in their squad, but there will never be another footballer like Ronaldo ever again and he’s still just as inspirational as ever.