The biggest party that never was. Ronaldo’s chiselled features dissolved into a mask of pain as his tears mirrored those of a vanquished nation. Rank outsiders Greece stole the glory, becoming European Champions on a night that saw Athens erupt into a sea of joy and the lights go out in Lisbon. The same tactic that had sufficed against France and the Czech Republic – defend in numbers and head in a corner – was enough to bring Portugal to its knees.
Charisteas rose in the 56th minute to nod the ball past Ricardo and that was that. Miguel, Maniche, Carvalho, Figo and Ronaldo all saw their efforts saved and the biggest shock in football was complete. The game also marked the coming of age of Cristiano Ronaldo. He represents the future of Portuguese football as the hugely disappointing Figo will surely not be seen again in the service of the ‘Seleção’. The king is dead, long live the king!