Ecstatic by his side's successful Euro 2016 campaign, Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo praised his team's 1-0 win over hosts France and said that they have proved their critics wrong by clinching their maiden worldwide title.
"We came close, really close", said Griezmann, who has reached a totally new dimension this season, prompting Atletico coach Diego Simeone to say his disciplined and hard-working forward was among the top three players in the world. The home turf advantage was at an all-time high at State De France, where they'd won their last 18 major tournament matches, not to mention their 1998 World Cup victory.
Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo, who was stretchered off injured and crying early in the game, hugged the trophy on the special flight that took the Portuguese team home.
In goal is Portugal's Rui Patricio and his defense consists of Germany pair Jerome Boateng and Joshua Kimmich, Real Madrid's Pepe and Dortmunds Raphael Guerreiro. "We have a young generation and I think the future has to be bright".
It was then that 28-year-old Eder fired his blast that salvaged the match for Portugal. "We can still build on what we have for future years", the captain added.
And not much changed in the second half either, with the French depending on Matuidi and Sissoko while Portugal's Pepe provided leadership as the team defended tenaciously, slowed the game down and tried to survive until they could put together some kind of scoring combination.
Expressing a similar view was Griezmann, France's star player and the victor of the Golden Boot with six goals: "We haven't won but I'm still very proud of this group, of course I am. Everything we've experienced over the past few weeks and months has been positive so I'm just disappointed we couldn't win this trophy for the millions of fans", he said. We've lived through some extraordinary moments, and the saddest moments as well.
But what they do have is a group of players who recognise their limitations and the fact that the collective is more important than the individual.
Lloris lamented the lack of a clinical edge up front while he also felt the extra day of preparation that Portugal had enjoyed had helped them in extra time. But we lost the chance to become champions.