Terror threats, fan violence, Icelandic thunderclap & happy Ronaldo - Euro 2016 highlights

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after winning the Euro 2016. © Charles Platiau
Euro 2016 might not quite have delivered the footballing extravaganza many people hoped for, but the tournament still served up many memorable moments.

The build-up to the competition was hit by terrorism alerts and transport strikes, but it was the re-emergence of fan violence which dominated the headlines during the first week.

Clashes between followers of Russia, England and France saw UEFA threaten to kick out any nations who failed to control their fans.

The Russian Football Union was hit with a suspended expulsion from the tournament along with a $168,000 fine, after mass violence in and outside the stadiums.

UEFA also opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation (CFF) after their supporters threw at least 15 flares onto the pitch and fought among themselves towards the end of their team's game with the Czech Republic.

An increased police presence around the various cities and arenas later prevented things from escalating out of control.

While some fans brought shame on their countries, others embraced the spirit of the Euros - particularly those from the Republic of Ireland.

Their fans were given the Medal of the City of Paris for displaying excellent sportsmanship and creating a carnival atmosphere during the tournament.

READ MORE: Irish eyes smiling after fans receive prestigious French award

On the field, the opening group stages provided some entertaining encounters, which saw the underdogs take center stage.

Hungary, Iceland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland produced the biggest shocks of the opening stage, progressing to the last-16 round against all the odds.

Eventual winners Portugal almost crashed out in the group stages, coming from behind three times in their final group game to seal a 3-3 draw with Hungary.

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo had been feeling the pressure ahead of the game, reacting angrily to being interrupted by a reporter as he and his teammates were walking alongside a lake near the team hotel.

After being asked if he was ready for the game, Ronaldo grabbed the reporter's microphone and tossed it into the water.

Iceland's dramatic victory over Austria saw the tiny nation progress to face much-fancied England in the knockout stages.

Wayne Rooney put England ahead, but Iceland turned things around to secure a 2-1 victory and cause a massive meltdown in English football.

Manager Roy Hodgson soon quit, and with Britain also voting to exit the European Union around the same time the recriminations are expected to carry on for some time yet.

Iceland's run was eventually halted by France in the quarter-final and it was left to Wales to pick up the underdog baton.

READ MORE: Football fans praise surprise stars of Euro 2016 on Twitter

Their opponent, Belgium, was expected to progress, but Wales produced a stunning performance to go through to the last four.

Portugal edged into the semi-final after a penalty shoot-out against Poland, but the quarter-finals will be perhaps best remembered for Italy's misfortune.

READ MORE: Portugal beats Wales 2-0 to reach Euro 2016 final

A battling 1-1 draw against Germany saw the game go to penalties.

Forward Simone Zaza's stuttering run followed by him lifting the ball miles over the bar resulted in arguably one of the most embarrassing exits from a tournament in living memory.

Portugal and France both successfully negotiated their semi-finals against Wales and Germany respectively to set up a classic defense versus attack encounter.

Ronaldo's early injury robbed the game of its central character, although the surreal sight of a moth consoling him as he lay in tears on the pitch provided some light relief.

READ MORE: Moth flies onto crying Ronaldo, internet goes into meltdown

The remaining Portugal players regrouped and defended for their lives, eventually claiming the prize courtesy of substitute Eder's stunning strike in extra-time.

Ronaldo urged his teammates on from the sidelines during the latter stages, proving that underneath the ego lies a true team man and it would be difficult to argue that Portugal didn't deserve the win.

The players' guard of honor for the defeated French at the end of the game was also a moment to remember, showing that despite some of the more unsavory issues at the start of tournament, sportsmanship was still alive and well.

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