To lift the trophy Portugal had to overcome the weight of history.

They had lost on each of the three occasions they had met France in competitive matches, and the last ten against their nemesis if you include friendlies.

In addition on the five occasions Portugal have faced the host country at World Cup or EURO Championship finals, in 1966 (England), 1984 (France), 2002 (South Korea), 2006 (Germany) and 2008 (Switzerland), they lost all five matches. Prior to the game it was a case of mothballs and not footballs!

A plague of moths invaded the pitch with English referee Mark Clattenburg seemingly unconcerned but referee co-ordinator Pierluigi Collina looked distressed as he batted away the insects.

The swarm of moths set up home on the goal nets and corner flags before turning their attention to France boss Didier Deschamps and then targeting Cristiano Ronaldo.

One potential explanation for the presence of the moths came from French journalist Philippe Auclair, who suggested that the insects gathered due to the stadium lights being left on over Saturday night.

Portugal started with William Carvalho, returning after his one match ban, and the influential Pepe who had recovered from injury.

It was to be another injury, early in the game, that could have spelt disaster for the Portugal team of old.

Cristiano Ronaldo was knocked off the ball by Dimitri Payet, a rough but fair challenge that left their captain clutching his left knee in pain.

Minutes later, Ronaldo collapsed in tears, the fate of a nation seemingly about to walk off the pitch with him. Ricardo Quaresma replaced Ronaldo midway through the first-half as Nani took the captain's armband.

Moussa Sissoko, the much maligned Newcastle player, was on fire for France and he signalled his intent by driving hard at the Portuguese defence, his cross cut out at the last moment by Southampton’s 32 year-old defender Jose Fonte who started his career at Sporting Lisbon fourteen years ago.

Rui Patricio, in imperious form between the sticks, was called upon to deny Sissoko from close range.

Having endured the worst of the French onslaught, Portugal strung a few passes together and created a decent shooting opportunity for Adrien after Nani cut inside his marker from the right.

But the Sporting midfielder took too many touches before passing to Raphael, who fired wide.

After regrouping at the break it was that man Sissoko who forced a last ditch clearance from Pepe after another blistering run through midfield. France spurned the first of two glorious second half chances just after the hour mark when Griezmann headed over the bar from Kingsley Coman's cross.

Portugal finally tested Hugo Lloris twice in quick succession when Nani's looping cross had to be pawed away. Ricardo Quaresma followed up with a bicycle kick that was straight at Lloris.

Rui Patricio again denied Sissoko six minutes from the end of normal time as the midfielder speared in a shot from some thirty metres out.

His brutal effort was parried away for another corner as France searched for the winning goal. The Portuguese fans had their hearts in their mouths in stoppage time as Andre Pierre-Gignac, who plays his club football for Tigres in Mexico, executed a brilliant spin that eluded Pepe's challenge and hit the inside of the upright.

Thankfully the shot bounced away to safety and the fans uttered a collective sigh of relief. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the pitch, encouraging the players as they prepared for extra-time. Portugal began to threaten with better passing exchanges and off the ball movement.

A Pepe header was just off target in the 104th minute even though it was eventually called offside. Éder was next to go close as his header was expertly blocked by Lloris.

Then Raphael Guerreiro smashed the crossbar, with a stunning free-kick, minutes later.

Portugal were now in the ascendancy and the historic moment finally came with just eleven minutes remaining. In a neat passing movement involving Moutinho, William Carvalho and Quaresma, the ball fell to Éder on the left wing.

The Guinea-Bisseau born striker shrugged off the challenge of Laurent Koscielny, but held firm as the French defender fell by the wayside.

Managing to regain his balance, Éder cut towards the centre of the pitch and, from thirty metres, unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner of the French net. Bedlam descended upon the red and green portion of the stadium as the underdogs sniffed victory against all the odds.

The goal shattered French resolve and they never looked like forcing an equaliser. Over the course of the ninety minutes France were unlucky not to find a winner but the Portugal team grew in stature as the game progressed and in the end were worthy winners.

After the trials and tribulations of the group stages Portugal finally showed that tenacious team work and hard work can overcome the biggest obstacles. Deprived of Cristiano Ronaldo it was Pepe, José Fonte, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Éder, and the Portuguese will to survive that broke the will of France's talented players.

After the game the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, announced that manager Fernando Santos and the team would be honoured by the award of Commander of the Order of Merit (Comendador Ordem do Mérito). Obrigado, Seleção. Força Portugal!