Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to make his country’s dreams come true after helping Portugal to the Euro 2016 final.
Wednesday was a seventh semi-final at a major tournament for the Portuguese and resulted in just their second-ever final, 12 years on from falling to surprise package Greece on home soil.
The Euro 2004 defeat still rankles with Ronaldo and the Real Madrid attacker is now tantalisingly close to making amends, having led Portugal to a 2-0 win against Wales.
The 31-year-old’s header early in the second half was followed three minutes later by Nani turning home his shot, sending them into Sunday’s Stade de France final.
“This is different,” the man-of-the-match said, comparing this tournament to Euro 2004.
“I was 18, that was my first final. My debut. Now 12 years have gone by and now we are going to play another final. I am very proud of that.
“I have always dreamed of winning for Portugal, I hope it is our turn now.
“I am very confident and I believe that all these boys deserve it. I deserve it, Portugal deserves it, the fans deserve it — every single Portuguese person deserves it.
“That fills me with pride, I am very happy.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved