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Ronaldo and Portugal ready to finish what they started

Published: Wednesday 6 July 2016, 23.05CET
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his long-held dream of lifting a trophy with Portugal – a fitting end to a journey that, as coach Fernando Santos pointed out, also began in Saint-Denis.
by John Atkin at Stade de Lyon
Ronaldo and Portugal ready to finish what they started
Cristiano Ronaldo & José Fonte (Portugal) ©AFP/Getty Images
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Published: Wednesday 6 July 2016, 23.05CET

Ronaldo and Portugal ready to finish what they started

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his long-held dream of lifting a trophy with Portugal – a fitting end to a journey that, as coach Fernando Santos pointed out, also began in Saint-Denis.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal forward
It's what we have dreamt of since the beginning. We knew it would be a long road and we're still in the tournament. We have believed right from the start. We had difficult moments, but it's like I always say: it's better to start poorly and have a positive ending. We haven't won anything yet, but the dream is still alive.

Ronaldo: 'We need to keep the dream alive'

I hope that [after the final] we'll be smiling and that it will be tears of joy this time. I've always said my dream was to win a trophy with Portugal. We're closer to doing it and I believe that we'll win. With a lot of work, humility and the spirit of self-sacrifice, which I have always shown in my career, these sorts of things are doable.

Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
I expected the game to be difficult and it was. But our quality saw us through. Two years ago, during my first match in fact, at Saint-Denis, I set a goal for my players: we will get to this EURO final, to be back at Saint-Denis on 10 July. Fortunately, things have gone well.

The team have got better, more solid, compact and united. And when that's the case anything is possible. We're not the best team in the world, but we're no pushovers either. We know what we want and we study our opponents in order to minimise their threat.

Now we're there, the final isn't about playing, it's about winning.

Coleman looks to a ‘positive’ future

Chris Coleman, Wales manager
That first goal was crucial. The first half was tight but we never found our rhythm and momentum. We found it difficult to open the game up but credit goes to Portugal. We lost our concentration for five minutes and when you do that against a side like Portugal you're going to get punished. Congratulations to Portugal: I hope they go on and win the final.

I'm immensely proud of the team. It's incredible what they've done and how they've performed. If you lose and you've given your best, that's how it goes. But the end of the tournament is not the end for this team – they'll be around for a long time. It's been a great experience. A nation is proud of them and, given time, they will be proud of themselves. I've loved every minute of it.

©AFP/Getty Images

Club-mates Bale and Ronaldo at full-time

Gareth Bale, Wales forward
It is a difficult one to analyse now but we're obviously disappointed. We've got to be proud first and foremost. We've given everything. We've tried to enjoy the experience of the tournament. We want to thank all the fans for all the support we've had, it's been absolutely incredible.

We're disappointed, naturally, but they got the first goal and were a bit lucky on the second. We tried our hardest to get back in the game. We fought until the last second and we're sorry we couldn't get to the final but we gave everything.

Allen ‘hugely proud’ of Wales achievement

Last updated: 12/07/16 17.55CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000450/match=2017905/postmatch/quotes/index.html#ronaldo+close+dream