Cristiano Ronaldo gave his Portugal teammates an "unbelievable" half-time speech, telling his teammates he was "sure" they would beat France in Euro 2016 and it acted as a catalyst for the team, Cedric Soares has revealed to the media.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave his Portugal teammates an “unbelievable” half-time speech, telling his teammates he was “sure” they would beat France in Euro 2016 and it acted as a catalyst for the team, Cedric Soares has revealed to the media.
Ronaldo, a forward for Real Madrid and national team captain was stretchered off the field after suffering an early knee injury, in the 25th minute.
Cedric Soares also said that the team was “in shock” when their captain had to go off but, instead of being dejected, a “fantastic” Ronaldo motivated the players.
“It was a very tough moment,” Soares said. “I remember, for me and the team, everybody was a little bit in shock I think.”
“In half-time, Cristiano had fantastic words for us. He gave us a lot of confidence and said ‘listen people, I’m sure we will win, so stay together and fight for it.”
“It was really unbelievable. I think all the team had a fantastic attitude. And we showed tonight when you fight as one you are much much stronger.”
Soares added “He was fantastic. His attitude was unbelievable. Always he helped a lot our teammates, he always had a lot of motivational words and all the team of course reacted to them, so it was very good.”
Ronaldo had left the field in tears but returned to the touchline after half-time and gave directions at his teammates for the remainder of the match, which Soares praised.
“He had fantastic words for each player in each moment of the game…I’m really really happy to be part of this group and be champion.”
Eder, whose goal resulted in Portugal winning the championship, also praised Ronaldo’s pep talk, “[Ronaldo] told me I would score the winning goal for the team,” he told ‘O Jogo’, a Portuguese sports newspaper. “He gave me this strength, this energy and it was vital.
Portugal won the game thanks to Eder’s 109th-minute long-range strike. After the game, as Soares spoke to ESPN FC, Ronaldo led a conga line through the mixed zone, although he interrupted his singing to hug any players who were talking to the media.