Cristiano Ronaldo is keeping things in perspective.
Following Wednesday's 2-0 semi-final victory over Wales, a result that has the Selecao back in the European Championship final for the first time since 2004, the captain admitted Portugal is one step closer to achieving a dream, though he was quick to point out that nothing has been accomplished quite yet.
"It's what we have dreamed of since the beginning," said Ronaldo, who scored once and provided an assist at the Stade de Lyon. "We knew it would be a long road and we're still in the tournament. We have believed right from the start. We had difficult moments, but it's like I always say: It's better to start poorly and have a positive ending."
Ronaldo, who equaled Michel Platini's record of nine European Championship goals with a thumping second-half header, continued: "The players deserve it, the coach deserves it. The entire medical staff as well. They have been doing an excellent job with the players' fitness.
"We haven't won anything yet as I said a few days ago, but the dream is still alive."
Right-back Cedric Soares, an energetic presence on the flank throughout the 90 minutes, built on Ronaldo's excitement over being in the final, while also taking a moment to recognize Wales' accomplishment.
"It's amazing. Incredible to be in the final, it defies description but we've earned this, we deserved the congratulations," the Southampton defender said.
"We were united, focused, but we have to congratulate Wales too, it was the first time they reached the semis, we knew they were a good team but we came out on top."