Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears turned into unbounded joy as Portugal secured their first ever trophy, with Eder’s stunning extra-time strike seeing off Euro 2016 hosts France.
Wednesday’s clash with Wales represented a seventh major tournament semi-final but brought with it progress for just the second time, 12 years on from the ignominy of falling to Greece at the end of the European Championship they hosted.
The roles reversed at the Stade de France as the underdogs ploughed on after Ronaldo’s first-half injury, making amends for the humiliation of 2004 by winning their first ever major trophy as Eder secured a 1-0 win.
The substitute struck the historic blow after 109 minutes, beating Hugo Lloris from distance as Swansea fans rubbed their eyes in disbelief given his underwhelming time in Wales.
Top scorer Antoine Griezmann twice came close to producing his own during the 90 minutes and substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac saw a stoppage-time effort hit the post after Ricardo Quaresma tested Lloris with an acrobatic strike.
Portugal upped the ante in extra-time and Raphael Guerreiro’s free-kick rattled the crossbar, before Eder’s moment of magic.
Holding off Laurent Koscielny, the substitute made room to get away a low effort from 25 yards out that saw Fernando Santos’ hard-working side make history.
At the start of the game Dimitri Payet’s clipped cross was met by a fine leap and instinctive header from the tournament’s top scorer, bringing a save and corner from which Olivier Giroud headed at the Portugal goalkeeper.
More worrying for Santos’ men was the sight of star turn Ronaldo on the deck, fighting back the tears.
A challenge from Payet was missed by referee Mark Clattenburg and left the forward in serious discomfort, with initial treatment and more 10 minutes later allowing him to gingerly return to action.
When play resumed Moussa Sissoko, belying last season’s hit-and-miss form with relegated Newcastle, burst forward and saw an effort deflect just off target, but then the focus was back on Ronaldo.
Clattenburg called for a stretcher, with all four corners of the ground uniting to give the Portugal captain a standing ovation as his night was brought to a premature end.
Portugal were having chances of their own and Lloris could only claw a threatening Nani cross into the path of Quaresma, whose acrobatic follow-up was going in until the France captain’s intervention.
Sissoko’s thumping strike forced Patricio into action once again, with Gignac turning Pepe in stoppage time to have Portuguese hearts in their mouths.
The substitute’s scuffed effort hit the post and proved the last chance of note as the match entered extra time.
Lloris denied Eder’s header as the first period of extra time ended and was relieved to see Guerreiro’s free-kick rattle back off his crossbar.
Portugal would strike a knock-out blow moments later, though.
Eder shook off Koscielny’s attention to send a low strike out of Lloris’ reach and claim the trophy.