Sport Football Portugal out to spoil French Euro party

Portugal out to spoil French Euro party

Cristiano Ronaldo
PA.
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Hosts France are aiming to win their third European Championship when they face Portugal in the Euro 2016 final with the outcome potentially hinging on the teams’ attacking weapons Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann.

France, who have beaten Portugal in their past 10 confrontations since 1978, have previously lifted the trophy in 1984 and 2000.

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Portugal will be out to spoil the French party on Sunday (Monday AEST) in Paris by claiming a first major tournament trophy after their most recent final appearance ended in a bitter loss to Greece as hosts of Euro 2004.

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann is the tournament’s top scorer. Photo: EPA.

The final will feature a clash of styles as Didier Deschamps’ pacey, attacking French team face Fernando Santos’s tactically astute and organised Portugal side who have been widely criticised for their performances.

“Let them continue saying the same thing, that Portugal won without deserving it,” Santos, whose news conferences are littered with dry humour, told reporters on Saturday.

“I would go home really happy.

“There has never been a Portugal-France final, this history is in semi-finals and I believe Portugal will make history in the final.”

The outcome could depend heavily on the two men wearing the No.7 shirt – Portugal’s Ronaldo and France’s Griezmann, who faced each other in the Champions League final six weeks ago.

On that occasion, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid beat Griezmann’s Atletico on penalties.

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

Should France triumph, it will be their third major tournament success on home soil after they won the European title in 1984 and the World Cup in 1998.

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