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Ronaldo had to watch the victory of his life --

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    December 13, 2018 4:30 AM GMT

    SAINT-DENIS, France -- Football is a cruel game. Cheap Adidas Nmd Wholesale . Sometimes even for its winners.Cruel because Cristiano Ronaldo had to watch the victory of his life -- at least one of them -- from the sidelines.Portugals name, for the first time, is now engraved on a major trophy. But one of the enduring memories of the European Championship final will be that Ronaldo played too small a part in the 1-0 win against France for him to deserve being anointed as world player of the year for a fourth time. Truth is, Portugal played better without him.And cruel because France lost in the very stadium that suicide bombers attacked last November. After that horror there was a solid argument to be made that the French would have been more endearing winners, that a pick-me-up trophy could have helped speed their recovery from the trauma.And also cruel because in six games before they lost their scoring touch in the all-important seventh match, the French on balance played better football at Euro 2016 than Portugal.Wales, in the semifinals, was the only team the Portuguese beat inside of 90 minutes. Against France, it took them 109 minutes for Eder to burst through Les Bleus defenses, with a stunning strike.Lets also not forget that, in Portugal, Europe has a champion that didnt win any of its group-stage games and only squeezed into the knockout stages, with just three points, thanks to the more forgiving format adopted for this expanded first tournament with 24 teams. Critics who feel that the new systems addition of eight teams has come at the expense of footballing quality will doubtless argue that Portugals victory proves them right.But, as the French themselves say, cest la vie -- or, as English speakers would say, thats football. Because footballs stubborn refusal to follow the script is what makes it so compelling, this final again offering strong evidence of that.Who, after all, would have penned only a cameo role for Ronaldo, now the proud owner of one type of winners medal that Lionel Messi doesnt have, in Portugals Hollywood moment?As at Euro 2004, we again saw Ronaldo cry -- this time after his left knee buckled in a scrap for the ball in the 9th minute with Dimitri Payet. Normally, the French winger tends not to bother himself with the grunt work of tackling and defending. But Payet and his teammates were combative, even borderline aggressive, in the opening half where they quickly swarmed over Portugals defenses. France, a team that used to be bullied, most infamously in losing a 1982 World Cup semifinal to Germany, was the more physical side.To be fair to Payet, the injury to Ronaldo wasnt malicious, but rather just one of those things that can happen when one man clatters into another at an awkward angle. Portugals captain tried soldiering on. When he sat down on the field, distraught, in need of treatment, a moth settled on his right eye, as if coming to dry his tears. With the knee strapped up, a sprint up field that finished in a hobble made it clear that Ronaldo couldnt continue. Referee Mark Clattenburg called on the stretcher bearers and that was it. Ronaldos final was over, after just 25 minutes.Liberated of their attention-grabbing superstar, no longer at the beck and call of his demands to give him the ball, his teammates played better, sharing the workload, getting into Frances box in numbers and giving French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris more to think about.For the French, this will be remembered as another final they should have won, like the 2006 World Cup final unhinged when Zinedine Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi. Euro 2016 top scorer Antoine Griezmann twice came close to winning it. And Andre-Pierre Gignac saw what would have been a certain match-winner rebound off the post in injury time before the game went to extra time.But, with time, the if and buts will perhaps matter less than the fact that reaching this final was proof that France is now out of the long trough that followed its 2006 World Cup loss to Italy, with the nadir being a strike by French players at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.Going forward, France again has a team it can be proud of. All but one of its starting 11 against Portugal either play abroad or, in the case of Barcelona-bound Samuel Umtiti, are on their way overseas. The French domestic leagues bleeding of players to foreign shores proved to be Les Bleus gain at Euro 2016. Their street-wise football and their handling of the heavy weight of host-nation expectations owed no small debt to the experience and expanded world view players have picked up on their travels. Eder, Portugals match-winner, also plays overseas, for Lille in France.From France, football will now look, with some trepidation, eastward to Russia, host of the sports next major tournament, the 2018 World Cup. Then will come Euro 2020, which will be spread confetti-like across 12 host countries, followed by the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.All present logistical challenges for traveling fans. Although the quality of the football at Euro 2016 wasnt always much to shout about, it will be fondly remembered for easy French pleasures and for Frances security measures that helped keep the 31-day tournament safe from the threat of more terror attacks without souring the mood.For that, we can all be grateful.---John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at) or follow him at Adidas Nmd Cheap China .com) - Yankee Stadium is the home of the Bronx Bombers, but on Sunday afternoon it will open its gates to host the latest addition of the Hudson River Rivalry. Cheap Adidas Nmd Shoes For Sale . Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San Antonio of the Texas League. . White came in fourth place in the event. He was the two-time defending gold medallist. The gold medal went to Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov.Anderson Silva’s list of demands almost resulted in a no-show at last week’s public workouts which ended in a face-to-face altercation, claimed Michael Bisping. The Brazilian legend (33-6-1) will come to London to fight Englands UFC flag-bearer but the pair went nose-to-nose and exchanged pleasantries at an event in Los Angeles which Bisping (28-7) insists was nearly ruined by Silvas attitude.In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Bisping expressed disgust at Silvas behaviour in front of his adoring fans and insisted his true personality is hidden beneath a respectful exterior. He wasnt going to turn up because he wasnt happy about this, he wasnt happy about that. Finally he turns up with a huge entourage like hes Mike Tyson. Michael Bisping Heres some inside information - the guy is an absolute fake, Bisping said. Up until the very last minute, Anderson wasnt going to show up at the open workouts. I know this from very reliable inside-information.He wasnt going to turn up because he wasnt happy about this, he wasnt happy about that. Finally he turns up with a huge entourage like hes Mike Tyson.He gets in the cage with 20 people which was misdirection to take the attention off himself. Hes posing for photos acting like butter wouldnt melt. Bisping (right) is Englands most successful UFC fighter Michael Bisping: The stats Record: 28-7 15 KOs, 4 submissions Age: 36 Height/Reach: 62 / 75 He was passive-aggressive and condescending to me but I couldnt care less because were going to fight. But then afterwards, his manager is calling my coach to ask me not to [criticise Anderson].The guy is a fake who can speak English but chooses to use a translator. He showed me that hes too confident at the open workouts by messing around with his friends. Me? I had a solid workout, Im not messing about.Silva, 40, is a former middleweight champion who owns all-time UFC records with 16 consecutive victories and 14 finishes. He is widely regarded as one of the sports iconic competitors. Bispings ups and downs Sky Sports reflect on his career Silva (right) is a dangerous striker with kicks, knees and punches But Lancashires Bisping, 36, believes Silva has benefitted from a slew of outmatched and fearful opponents who were broken by the reputation that precedes the Brazilian. Cheap Addias Nmd. He hasnt fought anybody that has my speed or my volume, he said. He hasnt fought anybody thats as well-rounded as I am - I can fight with him on the feet and take him down. I implement a lot of movement and footwork.Hes fought a lot of mediocre opponents, guys that were terrified of him and were beaten before they started. They were looking for a way out, which is something we see in sports. Bisping (left) has won two in a row since losing to current champion Luke Rockhold I never bought into his aura of invincibility, I looked at him as someone who had skills and finishing ability - but he has poor boxing, zero takedown defence, and he isnt very strong.Yes, I also have to be wary of his finishing ability but Im stronger, younger, fitter and better looking so what more can I ask for?Remarkably Bisping and Silva debuted in the worlds biggest MMA organisation a decade ago, just days apart, yet have never crossed paths despite sharing the middleweight division for the majority of that time. Silva (right) has stopped more opponents than anybody else in UFC history Anderson Silva: The stats Record: 33-6-1 20 KOs, 6 submissions Age: 40 Height/Reach: 62 / 77 Although Silva no longer rules as divisional champion, No 6 ranked contender Bisping believes his lifetimes work will be justified with a victory when they finally fight at The O2 Arena.Weve had parallel careers for 10 years and Ive wanted to fight him on a number of occasions, Bisping said. Of course I wanted him when he was he champion and hes no longer he champion. That said, Ive always said I could beat Anderson because my style matches up very well with him.I finally have the chance to back up what Ive been saying for years in the biggest UFC fight on British soil. Its a defining moment in my legacy. 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