(Reuters) – Portugal’s triumphant soccer team arrive home later on Monday on a plane named after the country’s late football legend Eusebio and will continue their celebrations after the dramatic win over hosts France in the Euro 2016 final.
Local media have kicked off the heroes’ welcome, with Publico newspaper declaring “10th of July, Portugal’s Day” with a photograph of Eder celebrating the match-winning goal in the 109th minute that gave the country a first European title.
Sports paper O Jogo gave its headline “Eternal” with a picture of the whole team.
“Sunday began with a jackpot of medals at the European Athletics championship and it ended with an explosion of heroics and happiness,” the daily wrote.
The Record had a picture of the players with the headline “Epic”, while another sports paper, A Bola, splashed an image of captain Cristiano Ronaldo lifting the Cup.
Ronaldo, who had his struggles in the tournament and left the final in the first half with a knee injury, did his part in helping the Portuguese in their famous run.
His two equalizers in a 3-3 draw with Hungary allowed them to advance from the group stage and also made him the first player to score in four editions of the tournament.
A tearful Ronaldo held the trophy in the Correio da Manha newspaper, which trumpeted: “The Euro is ours, we are the champions.”
Online, Jornal de Noticias showed coach Fernando Santos lifting the Cup with the headline “It’s ours!”.
“Ronaldo lifted a Cup made up of effort and tears,” the paper declared.
(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; Editing by Ian Ransom)