After leading Portugal into the final of Euro 2016 with a sensational performance in the semi-final against Wales, Real Madrid hitman Cristiano Ronaldo is desperate to win the title, which they failed to conquer in the final clash of Euro 2004 against Greece.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored one and assisted Nani for the second as Portugal outplayed Wales 2-0 in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 on Wednesday.
Portugal will fight for the title against the winner of the other match between hosts France and world champions Germany, which will be held in Marseille on Thursday.
Portugal have reached the finals of the European tournament for the second time in their history and it is believed that the heartbreking 0-1 loss to Greece still haunts the players and the entire Portuguese nation.
When asked to comment on the their soul scorching defeat against Greece in the Euro 2014 final and what implications that could have on their mind set, Ronaldo said that the players are confident of turning the tables this time around and will give their best to become the European champions.
“This is different. I was 18, that was my first final. My debut. Now 12 years have gone by and now we are going to play another final. I am very proud of that. I have always dreamed of winning for Portugal, I hope it is our turn now,” the 31-year-old said.
“I am very confident and I believe that all these boys deserve it. I deserve it, Portugal deserves it, the fans deserve it — every single Portuguese person deserves it. They’ve been amazing supporters,” he added.
“We’ve yet to win anything but it’s the final. I don’t think many people thought that Portugal would make it to the final, but we are there. That fills me with pride, I am very happy. Now we have to get ready for Sunday and we want to make this dream true.”
Ronaldo also heaped praise on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for his immense contribution behind Wales’ success in the tournament. This has been the most glorious era in the history of Welsh football as they qualified for the European competition for the first time, followed by a place in the semi-finals in their debut campaign. The on-going tournament has also been their first appearance in a major tournament, since their loss against Brazil in the 1958 World Cup.
After sealing the victory for his side at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium, the Real Madrid forward embraced his club team-mate Gareth Bale at the end of the game.
“I congratulated them on their run. They had an amazing run. They were the shining star here, the revelation team,” Ronaldo told the media later.
“I wished them good luck and as for the rest I would rather not say.”
Ronaldo’s opener against Wales saw him equal Michel Platini’s record of nine European Championship goals.
“Record-breaking is something very nice. I have broken many records before and I am still breaking records for club and country, but this all comes naturally and the crucial thing was to reach the final,” he said.
“I’ve always dreamt of winning something for Portugal and now it’s just one step away. Dreaming is free so let’s keep dreaming.”