Man-of-the-match Pepe told his Portugal team-mates to win Euro 2016 for injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo and they delivered.
It was an historic result as Portugal claimed their first major title via a 1-0 win over hosts France after extra time in Paris on Sunday.
Eder came off the bench and scored the 109th-minute winner, but Portugal faced an uphill battle from the outset, following a knee injury to Ronaldo, who left the field in tears in the first half.
However, Portugal used Ronaldo’s injury as motivation as they were finally crowned champions of Europe, having lost the Euro 2004 final on home soil against Greece.
“This was tough as we lost our main man and we had all our hopes on him because he can score a goal at any moment,” said Pepe, who lifted the Champions League trophy alongside Ronaldo for Real Madrid in May.
“When he couldn’t go on I tried to tell our team-mates that we had to win it for him.
“The coach set us up very well, the subs came on at the right time too. We poured our blood, sweat and tears into this.
“We’ve written a brilliant page in the book of Portuguese football history.”
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