Ronaldo beats Gareth Bale’s Wales to the Euro 2016 Final
Now the underdog's baton passed from the vanquished to the vanquisher.
Wales has had an amazing journey, overcoming numerous hurdles along the way, but they could't pass the biggest one of them all, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Dude ultimately stamped his signature heading style onto the Dragons' defense as he set the tone in this match's pivotal -- and only -- scoring patch:
Probably the only football player that can stay stuck in the air until its noggin time.
Only three minutes later, Ronaldo was a key figure in Portugal’s second goal, too. It was in an unusual way for him, though, as Nani nipped in to claim it:
Nani always seems to get in the way of Ronaldo’s shot, but this time it worked.
So, for the first time since 2004 -- when Portugal lost to Greece -- A Seleção das Quinas are back in the finals. Ronaldo was only 18 then:
It's safe to say that, at 31, dude's older, wiser, and craftier.
Meanwhile, full marks to Gareth Bale and the Welsh.
Ronaldo's mate at Real Madrid and his plucky band of overachievers have become legends in the principality, and the official anointment of such began at the final whistle and carried on in Lyon until well past midnight, with more than enough memories.