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11th Jul 2016

L’Équipe must be regretting this headline about Cristiano Ronaldo

Oeuf on their face

Tom Victor

So Euro 2016 is over, and we never need speak of it again.

Well, apart from using Portugal’s victory as a means to embarrass those who never thought they’d win the thing.

It has been a tournament where narrative has triumphed over things actually happening. Germany ending their hoodoo against Italy, France doing the same to the Germans in the following round, and Cristiano Ronaldo achieving international glory in the summer that Lionel Messi called it quits with Argentina.

Few thought Ronaldo would be able to lift a frankly ordinary Portugal side to glory, but few laid it on the line as blatantly as L’Équipe.

France’s sports newspaper ran a headline back in March which read: ‘Why Cristiano Ronaldo will never win anything with Portugal.’


Ahead of Portugal’s qualifying match against Serbia in March 2015, the article laid out five reasons why the Real Madrid man would never earn a major title with A Seleção. Number one on the list? ‘Because Portugal never wins’.

It also cited the paucity of Ronaldo’s international team-mates, with only Pepe and (at the time) Fabio Coentrao playing with him at Real Madrid. It mentions that the rest of the squad have not been playing for Europe’s top teams – little did they know that the winning goal in the final would come from Éder, who joined Lille from Swansea City just weeks before the tournament began.

We imagine they won’t be so quick to write off anyone in future, let alone someone as driven as Ronaldo.