Cristiano told Eder he would ‘score the winning goal’
The story could not have been better written as Swansea outcast Eder delivered on the biggest stage of all to win the 2016 European Championships for Portugal.
The 28-year-old hit a thunderous 25-yard strike in extra-time to send the Portuguese fans into raptures and ruin France’s dreams of another home tournament win.
“It was an amazing moment,” Eder said. “Our team worked really hard.
“We knew that the Portuguese people were behind us. We fought with immense strength, we were amazing.
“I think we deserve this title due to the work we put in, all the players and the staff.
“Portugal had been wanting this title for so long. This is fantastic and well deserved. Congratulations to every single one of us.”
It was just Eder’s third appearance of the tournament – all of which have been off the bench late in the second half.
Despite that and his struggles at Swansea, there remained an inherent self-belief that such a moment would arise.
“Since the first day (I thought my opportunity would come),” he said. “Ever since Fernando Santos called me up.
“He knows what my capabilities are and so does our group. They trust me and I have worked hard to contribute and today it was possible. I’m very happy about what we’ve achieved.”
Eder reflected fondly on his “very special goal”, but was quick to thank his team-mates for their efforts in creating it.
The striker was also quick to praise a player that had long since left the pitch, with the injured Cristiano Ronaldo going from talisman to motivator.
“Cristiano told me I would be scoring the winning goal,” Eder said. “He and all my team-mates.
“He gave me strength and positive energy. And that goal was really important.
“A lot of hard work went into it. We worked hard from the first minute and right from the beginning of the Euros. We were spectacular. The Portuguese people deserve this.”