“Cristiano, I hate you!”. That is how Antoine Griezmann jokingly greeted Cristiano Ronaldo after the Euro 2016 final.
What promised so much ended in heartbreak for host nation France, who lost to Portugal 1-0 after extra time in the European Championship decider in July.
Portugal captain and Real Madrid star Ronaldo hobbled off in the first half with a knee injury but he still managed to claim bragging rights over his Atletico Madrid rival Griezmann, who was desperate to hoist the international trophy aloft.
Reflecting on the meeting, Ronaldo told France Football: “It’s funny.
“Because shortly after the final, while I was on vacation in Miami, I met Antoine Griezmann in a restaurant where he was dining with his fiancee.
“He came over to my table and said with a sly smile: ‘Cristiano, I hate you!'”
France were overwhelming favourites to win the tournament after Portugal failed to convince en route to the final.
But Portugal had other ideas as Eder scored the winning goal in extra time in Paris to give the country their first major trophy.
“I was convinced that serenity was the key to everything. We knew we had a big advantage in that we were not the favourites,” Ronaldo added.
“When we started warming up on the pitch, I felt the French looked a bit too relaxed. They were smiling a lot. You have the right to smile before a game but they all seemed very happy.
“The French thought they would win easily – at least that’s the impression we got.”
Ronaldo came back to haunt Griezmann again last week, scoring a hat-trick as LaLiga leaders Madrid accounted for Atletico 3-0 in the derby.
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