LISBON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Football fans in Portugal have been partying non-stop since Sunday, with the national team welcomed by thousands of people in a celebratory mood, dancing in red t-shirts, cheering with national flags, taking pictures and singing Queen's ""We Are The Champions"" hymn.

Portugal celebrated its first European Championship title in full force this Monday, with Ronaldo dedicating the award to Portuguese emigrants and fans.

""All of you, all emigrants, these players, this coach, everyone deserves it. We have made Portuguese history, we are the first to win an important competition for our country. You all deserve this,"" Cristiano Ronaldo told his euphoric fans at Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques in Lisbon on Monday.

While star player Cristiano Ronaldo was carried out of the match on Sunday due to an injury on his right knee, the team stunned France in extra time thanks to Eder in the 109th minute, with Ronaldo encouraging his team throughout the game.

Tens of thousands of people gathered at Alameda, where forward Eder thanked his Portuguese fans for always supporting the national team on Monday.

""Congratulations to everyone for this moment. We gave everything on the field and we know you were always with us. Now let's have fun and celebrate. Today is a public holiday!"" he said.

Manager Fernando Santos also praised the Portuguese public for its efforts.

""This is a victory for the Portuguese and for Portugal. I am proud to be from this nation. Hurrah Portugal, Hurrah Portuguese heroes, that are here by my side. Thank you very much to the Portuguese,"" he said.

Earlier on Monday, the players were received by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at his palace in Belem, Lisbon.

""I said a month and three days ago that they were the best in Europe ... It has been proved that this is not by chance or luck, that they are not a banal team, they are the best in Europe,"" Rebelo de Sousa said in a speech from his palace to thousands of fans cheering outside.

""They are the best in Europe due to their skill, intelligence and also due to their modesty. Football is a collective sport ... and it was that collective spirit that led to a victory,"" he added.

The team arrived home on Monday, travelling on a plane named after the football legend Eusebio. Ronaldo and manager Fernando Santos carried the trophy together as they stepped out of the plane.

They were welcomed by fans at the Humberto Delgado airport who chanted ""Eder, Eder!""

The team then toured the city in an open-top red coach with the words ""Champions"" written in Portuguese.

The team will be receiving an Order of Merit by the president in the next days. Enditem


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