The Portuguese may have conquered Wales in the semi-finals but they had been singularly unimpressive before that, managing to progress to the last four without having won a game inside 90 minutes.
France, on the other hand, had only settled and strengthened as the tournament has progressed, with stars like Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann now hitting their stride at the right time.
A dull final, not helped by the departure through injury of teary Cristiano Ronaldo, was eventually won in extra time by a well-struck effort from Swansea flop Eder, crushing French dreams and crowning the Portuguese as unlikely winners.
Reader Comments (42)
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2 Posted 10/07/2016 at 12:11:42
The fans stood side-by-side and somehow managed not to fight with each other.
Everyone went home happy.
3 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:15:27
4 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:16:23
5 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:19:35
6 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:22:49
7 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:45:45
8 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:52:32
9 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:58:31
10 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:02:57
11 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:07:16
12 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:21:25
13 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:27:20
14 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:27:25
I doubt Martinez will ever work in the Premier League again, such is the absolute nonsense he speaks. The man is deluded.
15 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:29:46
16 Posted 11/07/2016 at 02:37:00
Outside of spouting off utter tripe in the media, I doubt if Martinez will ever work in football again. He may be employed somewhere under false pretences but will he ever work in the true sense of the word? Never. An utter pillock.
17 Posted 11/07/2016 at 05:01:41
18 Posted 11/07/2016 at 05:42:03
19 Posted 11/07/2016 at 10:37:38
20 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:07:13
It brought fans from all over the continent together on the streets of France with very little problems.
It put the best footballers of the continent playing on team that the have some affiliation with and playing with players that they can identity with.
On the other hand, you have the Premier League with its obscene amount of money, badge-kissing foreign players, segregated abuse-throwing fans.
Now that I think of it, you're probably having a laugh, yeah?
21 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:24:37
22 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:29:25
23 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:32:58
24 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:58:32
I disagree with Alan Thompson and have to say the tournament was pretty good. I never expected England to do anything other than what they did and there were some great goals, especially Shaqiri's.
France were expected to reach the final but Portugal rose to the occasion and, despite only winning one game inside 90 minutes, showed they had the right blend of youth, experience and coaching to come out on top.
25 Posted 11/07/2016 at 12:37:58
It mightn't be great for the neutrals but it's great for those involved.
Football is summed up perfectly by the French fans booing every touch Ronaldo had, booing him getting injured, booing him coming back on but then applauding him when he goes off on the stretcher.
26 Posted 11/07/2016 at 13:57:32
Romelu cost me a decent bet but I'm still up overall on the tournament.
27 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:08:10
There has to be more for the majority of TV watchers than just winning and for the game of football itself.
29 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:45:00
I'm in the minority it seems in that I can enjoy watching a tactical defensive game. A lot of people seem to want to see goals, goals, goals and care about little else. To those I say "watch the highlights show". I'm not saying you're in that bracket but I quite enjoyed the tournament although I admit the day of the quality attacking player is dying.
30 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:59:14
I could never stop watching football and Everton especially but a lot of new fans might start wondering what all the fuss is about, the way the game is being played.
31 Posted 11/07/2016 at 15:31:41
About 15 years ago, my son spent 6 months at the academy and even then you could see that individuality was being coached out of the youngsters in the interest of possession and a team pattern of play. When the street footballers such as Rooney, Messi, Tevez etc hang up their boots, expect to see even more games where matches are won on the basis of tactics and substitutions.
Of course, tight matches may always be won on the basis of individual moments of brilliance but there will be fewer and fewer players able to effect such moments.
I'm afraid football is becoming more and more like a chess game. Matches do still come alive in the second half as tiredness sets in but greater athleticism and stamina will stifle even that.
Solution? Open the pitch up by reducing the game to ten a side. The game has moved on from average height 5'-9" players who struggled to maintain fitness. Open up space on the pitch and we may see a more entertaining spectacle.
32 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:04:04
I'd have to agree with what both you and Dave are saying but I guess I don't feel the need for the star player as much as some. I think there's something great about the underdog with less talent winning through pure hard work.
33 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:09:41
Just like punk shook up music in the '70s, we need a Wimbledon-type approach or (something like it) to shake up the sterile approach to the game adopted by most coaches.
34 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:26:46
Are defenders & is defending winning over attackers & attacking?
Several times we saw an attacking player on the 18-yard line with his back to goal pass backwards when there was no-one behind him! One Cruyff turn in the whole tournament, and that was from a Championship player!
35 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:30:59
A rather disappointing tournament it may have been for some the football was not great for some and the early trip home was not planned for by some.
For others, this competition fulfilled the dreams of a Nation, it showed how teamwork can overcome individualism and it showed that one should never underestimate an underdog.
It showed that you don't have to be a Bale, Ronaldo, Pogba to win the goal of the tournament, in fact you don't really have to belong to any team apart from the one you are playing for in the tournament.
But what this tournament has done is put the little people firmly on the map: Iceland and Wales have had more publicity than money could ever buy and it is time now to build upon this success and show the world that the British Isleas is not just about England there are others including the two Irish, Scots and the mighty Welsh to contend with from now on.
The Dragon has roared!
36 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:48:24
37 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:58:02
The highlight for me, even as an Englishman, was Wales's wonderful performance against Belgium. But there weren't enough classic or even good matches like that to hook the next generation of football fanatics.
Atmospheres at Premier League matches are generally poor these days because the average football match (particularly in the first half) is being stifled by concede-nothing, possession at all costs, chess-like tactics.
38 Posted 11/07/2016 at 17:21:51
Watching the underdog with less talent winning through pure hard work is fine in the FA Cup or some other domestic competition but the cream of football talent should be on show in these prestigious international tournaments.
It's not the format that's to blame. as some have argued in the media, or the smaller less-experienced countries taking part; it's the mindset of the managers and players across the world. I watched Argentina v Chile in the final of the Copa America last month and that match was even duller than yesterday's game and that takes some doing.
The modern world seems to dislike losing so much that nobody, team, manager or player is prepared to gamble on actually winning a football match in style.
Flip a coin at the start of the game to decide the winners and we could all save oodles of time and money as far as international football goes and it would on the whole be a lot more fun than some of the rubbish that has been on display in Euro 2016.
I hope Everton's upcoming Premier League campaign is a lot more entertaining than most of the Euro 2016 tournament has been.
39 Posted 11/07/2016 at 19:20:40
I also don't see how flipping a coin would be much fun. I didn't see the Copa America but nothing I saw at the Euros bothered me that much, although I admit there were few memorable moments outside the lesser nations' success.
I was in the Stade de France and the stadium in Lille so I know I'm biased.
40 Posted 11/07/2016 at 19:21:47
1982 Spain, was my favourite ever World Cup, because it's the only tournament I've ever witnessed with two standout games: Italy 3-2 Brazil, and the Germany-France 3-3 semi-final.
I might be wrong but I feel these tournaments are usually the same with organisation and strength generally cancelling out most of the skillful teams by the end.
Shane went to France and had a ball, so I think he can relate better than most, why these tournaments can be so great for the fans. Especially the ones who are lucky enough to experience the atmosphere whilst having a few beers and a laugh!
41 Posted 11/07/2016 at 19:32:25
Some teams will always be scared to lose, whilst other teams, always seem scared to win. Let's hope Ronald Koeman, can really change the mindset of our team, because I think we've been in both of those brackets for way too long now!
42 Posted 12/07/2016 at 08:29:02
43 Posted 13/07/2016 at 13:48:00
44 Posted 14/07/2016 at 10:10:22
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