Football boss says Euro 2016 win can be stepping stone for Portugal

It was a year ago today (July 10) that Portugal stunned the football world by upsetting France in Paris to win the Euro 2016 with an extra-time goal scored by an unlikely hero, Éder.

The historic victory saw hundreds of thousands of Portuguese celebrating on the streets unlike anything the country had ever seen before, a nationwide party that the president of the country’s football federation (FPF) believes could repeat itself soon.

“Portugal is these days a top team, which goes head to head with the best in the world,” Fernando Gomes told Lusa news agency.

“Winning an international title depends on many factors, and naturally you can never take it for granted because there are other teams with great quality that are fighting for the same. But Portugal has the status, size and quality to always believe that it can win an international competition, or at least reach the final or semi-final,” he added.

Portugal’s performance at the Confederations Cup – a 3rd place finish – proves there is potential to keep winning, and the 2018 World Cup in Russia is just a year away.

“The 2016 European title was the pinnacle of a solid and successful course that we want to extend and strengthen. As our coach Fernando Santos says often, Portugal is never considered a favourite to win a tournament, though everyone, starting by the Portuguese, knows that we are,” Gomes said.

The FPF president recalls July 10, 2016 as a day that “we will never forget”.

“That shot by Éder in the second half of overtime, those final minutes that wouldn’t pass, the huge joy when it finished, the party in Portugal and the way we were received the next day … these are images and feelings that we will cherish forever,” he said.

Gomes adds that the national football team has become a symbol of “unity” among Portuguese.

[email protected]