Portugal ruined the dreams of a nation as they defeated hosts France in the final of the 2016 European Championships in Paris’ Stade de France.
France coach Didier Deschamps was as crestfallen as the fans and his players, having failed to make home advantage count like the teams of 1984 and 1998.
It was the first time Les Bleus have failed to win a major tournament on home soil since the 1960 Euros.
“Of course the overriding emotion is of huge disappointment,” the man who captained the Euro 2000 triumph and World Cup success two years before that said. “It’s cruel to lose the final like that.
“You have to accept it, I congratulate Portugal – they are the newly-crowned champions.
“Clearly we had our chances and had the last opportunity (of normal time) with Andre-Pierre Gignac striking the post in stoppage time.”
Eder scored the winner in extra-time for Portugal with a thunderous shot from distance, sparking wild scenes amongst the Portugal players but leaving France to rue their chances.
“We weren’t clinical enough, we weren’t cool-headed enough. Perhaps we also lacked a bit of freshness.
“Although I’ve got nothing that I can hold against my players, they gave absolutely everything tonight.
“It really came down to very fine margins. But unfortunately we lacked what was essential. It’s very hard, it’s cruel but we have to accept it, and we’ll have to digest this, all of us.”