Sad for losing final, proud about successfully hosting Euro Cup, say French expats in Oman

Energy Monday 11/July/2016 22:30 PM
By: Times News Service
Sad for losing final, proud about successfully hosting Euro Cup, say French expats in Oman

Muscat: Despite France’s defeat at the hands of Portugal in the final of the Euro Cup Championship, French expats in Oman seemed happy with their team and the country for hosting the tournament.
“I am sad because all the French people were hoping and believing that France would win the match and this time with the Euro Cup being organised in France, it would have been a great thing,” Roland Dubertrand, the French Ambassador to Oman, said.
“However,” he explained, “at the same time I think we are quite proud and satisfied of the endeavours of the French team because they improved a lot during these past years and we were quite happy to see the French team being so good, and so we are not so sad.”
“I saw a part of the match as I am not a specialist in football, but I was really pleased to see our team playing so well,” he added. “We are happy that the Euro Cup was well organised and it was a big challenge and it was done well and we are quite happy and satisfied about the organisation of the tournament and a little sad because of the last defeat because that is life and sport,” the French Ambassador noted.
Loic Courbet, another French resident of Oman was of the view that both the countries played well, but the French team had a slightly better game and possession rate, “By the end of the additional time you could feel that the French players were exhausted, so well
done Portugal.” Nicolas Patay, another French expatriate in Muscat said losing was a huge disappointment for his country.
“The French people expected a lot from this sporting event, but hopes gradually disappeared as the game progressed,” he stated.
“The players were really tired and despite of their technical domination, they lost,” Patay added.
Portugal became on Sunday night an unlikely hero as Eder’s thunderous finish deep into extra time secured their first European Championship title after they overcame the early loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to snatch a 1-0 victory over hosts France on Sunday.
The substitute picked the perfect time to score the first competitive goal for his country, marauding forward before letting the ball fly with a bullet shot from 25 metres during the 109th minute.
It was a magic moment for the 28-year-old, who plays for the French club Lille and after a largely unglamorous career so far, and a cruel blow for France and their coach Didier Deschamps.
The French side had dominated the match, but squandered a number of chances in front of their devastated home support, who arrived at the Stade de France hoping to celebrate a third Euro Cup crown.
The trophy was lifted triumphantly by Portugal’s captain Ronaldo, who broke down in tears at the final whistle after his own game had come to a frustrating end after 24 minutes when he was carried off the pitch on a stretcher with a knee injury.
The script had been written for him to produce a performance to match his status as one of the game’s greats, but he had to settle for a back-stage role after Dimitri Payet’s challenge left him in a heap on the floor.
So much of the build-up had focused on Ronaldo and his hopes of crowning a glittering career with the only achievement missing from his CV, a piece of international silverware.
That was achieved, but, with Eder stealing the limelight and his own role reduced to that of a cajoling cheerleader, it was probably not how Ronaldo would have envisaged his evening panning out.
Yet having been part of the Portuguese side that were stunned in the final by Greece in 2004, he celebrated wildly with his team mates as ticker tape rained down from the rafters.
“This is one of the happiest moments of my career,” he said. “I’ve always said I wanted to win a trophy with the national team and make history. And I did it. Thank God, things went well for us.”
Coach Fernando Santos, whose side had won only one match inside 90 minutes out of seven at the tournament, hailed a perfectly executed tactical display.
“We were as simple as doves and as wise as serpents,” he said.
“Wherever we’ve gone there have always been Portuguese fans. This lifted our souls. It’s hard to describe the players’ emotions—it’s incredible,” Santos concluded.
(With inputs from Reuters)

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