Portugal's Euro 2016 win 'big moment' for Cristiano Ronaldo - Xabi Alonso
Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has told ESPN FC that Portugal's win at the European Championship in France has seen Cristiano Ronaldo fulfil all his ambitions.
Ronaldo, 31, captained his national side to their first ever major trophy by beating the hosts 1-0 after extra time in Sunday's final, and Alonso congratulated his former Real Madrid teammate for adding international honours to his extensive haul of club silverware.
"I'm very pleased for him," Alonso told ESPN FC. "We know that he's pretty ambitious, and he had already achieved everything possible at club level.
"You could see how much it meant to him to win a title for his country, the first one ever for Portugal. I'm really glad that he's got this trophy in his cabinet. It was a big moment for himself and for Portugal as a whole. He enjoyed it."
Former Spain midfielder Alonso, who has won the 2010 World Cup as well as Euro 2008 and 2012, was in the unusual position of watching this summer's tournament at home.
For the first time since 2002, La Roja had to make do without his services at a major competition, following his international retirement in 2014.
"It was a new experience to watch it on TV," he said. "All the games were very tight, very intense and showed that you cannot take anything for granted. Watching them also made me realise just how difficult it was to achieve three titles in a row with Spain."
Alonso could only watch as Vicente del Bosque's side suffered an early exit against Italy in the round of 16. Despite that coming two years after the group-stage elimination at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Alonso does not believe these results are indicative of fundamental problems.
"Of course it was a big disappointment for everyone but against a very good side like Italy, it can happen," he said. "One bad game at the Euros or World Cup, and you're out. Now Spain has to look forward, and for new manager. Hopefully they will make the right choice."
Raphael Honigstein is ESPN FC's German football expert and author of "Bring the Noise: The Jurgen Klopp Story." Follow: @honigstein