PREVIEW: Portugal v France on EURO 2016 Final

The countdown is over: France made it to a home final and will compete Portugal tonight in Saint-Denis.

After Portugal beat Wales 2-0 in the semi-final, France triumphed over Germany the next day with Antoine Griezmann‘s two goals.

Both finalists of the 15th UEFA European Championship prepared well for the last clash, and it seems like the whole world is anxiously waiting for the outcome.

We could be able to watch exciting games through the past month, saw how they made it all the way and how they knocked out other teams along the way.

The French team has won the EUROS twice: in 1984 and 2000. Also, they have also won their last ten games against Portugal. However, the Portuguese team just ended up at second place in 2004 when they hosted the enormous event, and they didn’t achieve a better place since then.

We could not imagine Portugal in the final after their 1-1 draw with Iceland on matchday one, but you see, here they are, just one game away from the victory, and they’ve got a lot of quality.

It’s ridiculous that we can call UEFA EURO 2016 “Don’t get scored on penalties”-kind of Championship. Most of the successful, world class players shocked supporters with their crazy and crucial penalty misses. Cristiano Ronaldo himself did the same, but he corrected himself on the semi-final, and he still has scored three goals in the tournament like Nani. Fans can just pray for Ronaldo to turn up and play the same way like against Wales so that Portugal could be in business, though there’s Pepe.

The key defender at the Portuguese team had to miss the semi-final because of a thigh injury. However, Pepe took part in training on Saturday, and he says he’s going to be fit, but sadly we still can’t clearly confirm he can start tonight and be one in the solid defensive triangle.

In contrast, apparently, everything is OK at the opposing French squad. We think the starting XI should be unchanged.

Didier Deschamps‘ players have always produced the goods on the field with their attacking forces and defence. Statistics also show that they are not weak opponents. Three of the players, including Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud, are in the TOP 5 on scorers’ list. Griezmann, who really can be proud of being on the top of the list with his six goals, is the wonder on this year’s EUROS. Anyone who didn’t hear his name until the Championship, now certainly will remember the name. The 25-years old forward has become a headline-maker around the world.

Deschamps, coach of the French team, said they hadn’t had a chance to work on tactics since the final because they tried to recover from the match. However, he is pretty sure that his players are ready for the massive clash and that they can instantly win it.

Whether you’re 18, 20 or much older, there’s a chance to win a title and we need to seize it without thinking about what might happen in the future. What matters now is the present and the future.

The current manager of the Portugal national team Fernando Santos and his team have a strong belief as well. Their objective from day one was only one thing: to play in the final and win it. Now that they’re able to take part in the last battle they want to celebrate their glory.

If we have to pay attention to individuals then we would have to worry about everyone. I would have to list every single name in the France team. They have well-known, top-quality players who play at big teams around the world. Of course, every individual player can make the difference, but Portugal also have a strong team with individual match winners.

Now it seems like both teams are balanced and experienced, but we’ve still got a big question in our head:

Can France win The EUROS for the third time or Portugal will finally get a first major trophy?

Check out this video about their road to the final:

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Written by Alexandra Nagy

I'm Alexandra from Hungary, now living in the UK, and writing is not just my hobby - it's my passion. I'm a writer/journalist addicted to music, travelling, football, movies & books, proudly supporting Derby County Football Club.
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