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Ronaldo talk filled us with belief: Soares

By Graham Luney

Cristiano Ronaldo's Euro 2016 final appearance was cruelly cut short by injury, but he inspired Portugal to glory in Paris according to his manager and comrades.

Portugal returned home to a heroes' welcome yesterday after Eder's extra-time strike stunned hosts France in Sunday's decider.

Ronaldo will rest after suffering sprained knee ligaments in the final but, after wiping away tears, the Real Madrid superstar inspired his country to their first major tournament win with a passionate performance on the sidelines.

Team-mate Cedric Soares said: "At half-time, Cristiano had fantastic words for us. He gave us a lot of confidence and said, 'listen people, I'm sure we will win, so stay together and fight for it'. It was really unbelievable."

Portugal boss Fernando Santos added: "Him being in the dressing room and on the bench was very important for us. He believed - just like myself - that it was going to be our night."

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