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France seeks healing final victory vs underachiever Portugal

16 July 2016

More than 5,000 French police will be deployed at key venues in and around Paris ahead of the Euro 2016 football final between France and Portugal. I think the players will be able to play at 100 per cent as we have since the start of the competition but there also the opposition to consider - we are not there on our own. "A victory. always gives a country the feeling that it can succeed, not only in sport but also in economy and culture, on the global stage, in politics and diplomacy", he added.

Germany faced Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Italy on their way to the semi-finals while France took on Romania, Albania, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland and Iceland on their way into the last four.

SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) - France puts its formidable record in finals on the line when the European Championship hosts try to deny Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal a first major football title on Sunday. It may be an evening of patience for France as the underdogs are likely to be content to soak up pressure and use Ronaldo as their main attacking outlet, but throughout this tournament they have been adept at finding a way to win and it would be a sizeable shock should they fail to do so.

Twelve years after being left in tears as a 19-year-old suffering a devastating loss to Greece on home soil in the final of Euro 2004, Cristiano Ronaldo will get another shot to win silverware with Portugal.

PORTUGAL: Portugal are sweating on the fitness of Real Madrid centre-half Pepe, who is battling to prove he should be involved in the final.

Griezmann has already had a tearful tournament exit, having cried on the pitch at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana after France lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals.

Griezmann is the tournament's top scorer with six goals, while Ronaldo has notched three.

France's pedigree in finals is far stronger than Portugal's, particularly at home where the prize was collected at the 1984 European Championship and 1998 World Cup.

France will take on Portugal in the Euro 2016 final at the Stade de France, Paris on Sunday, July 10 with kick-off at 8pm BST. "We want to bring great joy to the Portuguese people".

"They are an excellent team with an excellent coach [and they] had a great tournament".

Santos said he always believed Portugal would win the tournament and he was sticking to his guns, even though he recognised that France were favourites.

France, coached by shrewd Didier Deschamps, know they can't allow Ronaldo space or early breakthrough if they want to win their second major football trophy in the last 20 years.

He has since been voted the world player of the year three times and gone on to huge success with Real Madrid. The captain admitted it "gives us strength" and "is lovely to see". Like us, they are now in the final. Overall, the host is the better of the two teams; it will be up to France to prove that. He's important to the French team but it's important that we don't focus too much on one man. He scored twice in the second half, found the net again in the 5-2 quarterfinal defeat of Iceland and downed Germany nearly singlehandedly in Marseille on Thursday. We have done good work to be in final six years later. You can also go for out of the box picks like Nani, Dimitri Payet, Hugo Lloris or a French defender.