How Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Chak De' Speech Lifted Portugal in Euro 2016 Final vs France
An injured Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly channelled his inner
Cristiano Ronaldo was injured in the first half of the Euro 2016 final
Ronaldo spoke to his teammates at half-time following his injury
Portugal went on to beat France to lift their maiden international title
Toh maine socha ki is match me kaise khelna hai. Aaj mai tumhe nahi bataunga; balki tum mujhe bataoge khel kar.
These were the words of Kabir Khan, played by Shah Rukh Khan, when he delivered his famous speech to the Indian women's hockey team in the Bollywood blockbuster 'Chak de India'. Kabir Khan's India team went on to upset favourites Australia in a thrilling final of the Women's Hockey World Cup.
During the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France, an injured Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly channelled his inner Kabir Khan to fire up his teammates, who looked handicapped up front without their best player on the field.
Portugal had started the final as underdogs against the strong France side, but matters were made worse by Ronaldo's knee injury in the early stages, which forced him off the field on a stretcher.
The three-time Ballon d'Or winner's speech, as revealed by teammate Cedric Soares, inspired the players to upstage France in a humdinger of a final at the Stade de France.
"It was a very tough moment (when Ronaldo went off injured). I remember, for me and the team, everybody was a little bit in shock I think," Soares was quoted as saying by ESPN.
"In half-time, Cristiano had fantastic words for us. He gave us a lot of confidence and said 'listen people, I'm sure we will win, so stay together and fight for it.' It was really unbelievable," he added.
Soares also said that Ronaldo had words of encouragement for every player, and it was his fighting attitude that helped the players to continue the battle on the pitch.
As the game progressed, Ronaldo was seen in an animated mode on the touchline, passing instructions and words of encouragement to his teammates. He virtually became the team's assistant manager, and was seen celebrating wildly when Eder scored the deciding goal.
Chandi ko sone me badalne ki koshish kar rahaa hoon, Kabir Khan had told his players in 'Chak de India'. We are not sure if Ronaldo was carrying his Euro 2004 runners-up medal in his pocket, but his speech certainly helped him 'convert' the silver medal from 12 years back to a gold this time.