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Football

12th Jul 2016

“I’m just glad he won because I couldn’t have stood any more tears” – Roy Keane on Ronaldo

Conan Doherty

The apprentice that became a hero, the hero that became a villain, the villain that won back our hearts.

It was a strange paradox, Sunday night. One of the greatest footballers that ever lived went off the field and, by not playing, he received more love.

The sight of Ronaldo being reduced to tears when he finally gave up and accepted that he would no longer be able to lead his country through their biggest night was heartbreaking. It was an indication that he was only human. He was only a man who bleeds and dreams like the rest of us.

The view of him on the sideline shouting at his team, offering encouragement, hobbling up and down chasing the ball was as magical as every single piece of unbelievable genius he’s produced on the pitch.

You couldn’t not be romantic about that Euro 2016 final when one of the most revered and hated figures in world football became a hopeless spectator and showed that he was in it for Portugal.

Roy Keane was happy for him. But mostly, he was just happy that he didn’t have to watch him cry any longer.

“If anything, it’s a great tackle,” the Irish assistant manager said on ITV of Payet’s challenge that injured the Portuguese man. “He’s just unfortunate. Football is a physical game and it’s unfortunate.

“I’m just glad he won because I couldn’t have stood any more tears.”

The skipper got to lift the trophy and he was also included in UEFA’s team of the tournament.

Decent night all round despite being injured after eight minutes of it.

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