After hundreds of supporters greeted them at Cardiff Airport - renamed Cardiff Bale Airport for the day in honour of Wales star Gareth Bale - the squad signed autographs and had pictures taking with fans before boarding a bus into the city centre.
"It's unbelievable scenes and we'll never forget", said the Real Madrid man, 26. We're quite capable of slaughtering our own team, manager and players, thank you very much.
Through five games at Euro 2016, the Portuguese couldn't win a game inside 90 minutes until they overcame Wales 2-0 in Lyon on Wednesday. Many Welsh people of my acquaintance believe they should be able to ridicule, humiliate and laugh at England, while expecting total support in return.
Paying tribute to his team-mates, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey said it was a pleasure to play in a side who "work their socks off for each other" and "play with freedom". "I'm going to have to come up with something a little bit different probably to try to get us to win enough games to qualify".
"We have heard from our families and stuff like that, that the atmosphere has been phenomenal, but this is the first time we are experiencing any of this and it is really special".
Chris Coleman's side began Euro 2016 as one of the outsiders but topped Group B, finishing above England despite losing to their neighbours.
"I was enjoying it, first half it went very well", Collins said.
"The celebrations on the pitch, the singing, they are moments that will stick with you forever".
When they did so, players and supporters re-enacted Iceland's viking "Huh" chant which they copied in France.
He boarded a private plane in France earlier to marry his fiancee Ruby May in Ibiza this weekend.
The Crystal Palace player has become something of a cult hero with his dance moves going viral on social media during the tournament, but he was not forgotten as his team-mates video messaged him as they drove through Cardiff.
Well, they have as long as the multi-millionaire playboy prima donnas who made up the most pathetic team in English tournament history have been watching, which I also doubt as they've already started to react to easily-ignored Twitter taunts by flaunting their wealth in a series of luxury holiday snaps.
The Welsh have been drawn in a group which includes fellow Euro 2016 finalists Austria and Ireland, plus Georgia, Serbia and Moldova. Portugal might have won just one match out of six in France this summer, but they have yet to suffer defeat.
If history ultimately judges the finest talents by their achievements on the worldwide stage, where neither player has tasted success, then the Portuguese captain could use Sunday's Euro 2016 final to land a haymaker blow in one of football's great rivalries.