Portugal and Ronaldo celebrate first Nations League title

10.6.2019.  

Portugal - Netherlands 1:0 


Three years after winning Euro for the first time, Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo are celebrating another European title as they won over Netherlands in UEFA Nations League final in front of the home fans.


Portugal have developed a practice of winning big matches, it's a definite thing. Many expected Netherlands, led by Virgil Van Dijk, to lift the trophy but Cristiano Ronaldo and his colleagues didn't allow as they have outplayed Dutch team in Porto and made their fans proud again. 


"It's a great achievement, indisputable. These victories will be part of Portuguese football forever," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

 



After securing his team a final with a brilliant hat-trick against Switzerland, Ronaldo lifted the trophy but wasn't much of a factor in Sunday's match. The only goal was scored from the Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes. Clever Bernardo Silva's cutback found Guedes who smashed the ball into the net. 


"Things have been going well for Portugal in recent years," Ronaldo told after the game. "The national team has won some important titles."

The Dutch team looked to get back into the match but Memphis Depay's header was saved by Rui Patricio. With this win, Portugal have become the first European team to host and win a final of a major competition since France beat Brazil 3:0 in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.


In the game for the third place, England beat Switzerland 6:5 after the penalties. English side was the better team during the 120 minutes but had to wait for penalty roulette to seal the third spot in UEFA Nations League tournament. Once again England won through a penalty shoot-out and once again their goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was the real hero of the team.

"We've done a lot of work over the three weeks on penalties and that's come to fruition," excellent goalkeeper explained.


For the first time since 1968 European Championship, England have finished third at a major final.


Ronaldo is the top scorer in the Final Four with three goals, his teammate Bernardo Silva was named best player while Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong received the best young player award.