Portugal are the 2016 UEFA Euro Champions, which essentially entitles them to bragging rights as the best national soccer team in Europe, that's right, best in Europe, let that settle in for a second and remember how many Americans of Portuguese descent have settled here in Turlock or nearby.
What the Portuguese national soccer team achieved was not just athletic history , they gave their people hope. Hope that they can compete and fight with the best of the best in Europe futbol. Hope that under unfortunate and difficult circumstances, this team could overcome those obstacles if they work together to their best ability and be rewarded.
They had a chance to push themselves harder than they ever thought possible and they achieved greatness while on this journey.
They defeated the host country on their home soil and did it in a very interesting way, considering the tournament circumstances, mainly because of the new format of 24 teams, which made most games in group stage rather boring games.
Don't get me wrong, soccer is the world sport regardless and I truly love it but if we were to compare the Euro 2016 to the Copa America Centenario from an entertainment and a prolific style of futbol, well then it would be difficult to pick against the Copa America. Even the broadcasters from ESPN, mentioned several times how this tournament did not live up to the expectations and hype mainly because of the extension of the tournament into a 24-team bracket rather than 16, which is what the Copa America had.
It was a 1-0 win but it was a win nonetheless, that had to go into extra time for the score to be settled and that made it more dramatic for everyone, including myself.
The Copa America was a better tournament overall, but regardless, the final that the Portuguese national team provided was a very fun-filled game that left many with a smile and an even better memory of the tourney.
The Euro had always rostered 16 teams in their tournaments but the UEFA decided to change things up and for whatever reason, but in the end this led to Portugal being awarded their first Euro title ever.
And while it wasn't the smoothest or prettiest, their defense along with goalkeeper Rui Patricio's phenomenal tournament led to the team’s success, mainly since Patricio and much of the Portuguese team failed to live up to their expectations in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Portuguese side took it to heart and they saw the emergence of numerous stars like Renato Sanches and Eder.
After a solid showing, both have proved that they belong in the starting rotation or at least be in consideration when the A-squad is needed.
Really, this was a win for the summer of soccer, and I was happy to see that Portugal won, but now I would like to see FIFA schedule a game between the Euro winner and the Copa America winner.
So in other words, when are Portugal and Chile going to square off?