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The final countdown as hosts France prepare to meet Portugal in the Euro climax

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The final countdown as hosts France prepare to meet Portugal in the Euro climax

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Cinzia Rizzi is our guide to all things Euro 2016:

“Welcome back to Euro 2016 and its the final countdown to the last match of European championships. On Sunday in the Stade de France hosts France take on Portugal in the final. Let’s look ahead.

After a poor start to the tournament Ronaldo is happy to be back in the limelight and amongst the goals.

Another boost is that defender Pepe has recovered from injury and look set to play.

The main question for coach Santos is whether to stay with midfielder Danilo or bring back William Carvalho after suspension;

The Portuguese coach Fernando Santos wants to make his people happy: “We are one united group, we will do everything we can to give the people in the country, in the stadium, all over the world, because everywhere I go I see Portuguese people, we will try to give all of them the biggest day of joy in their lives.”

France looks to have a complete contingent to choose from as they hope to deliver on home soil. The match will bring some much needed levity to a country that has been hit hard by terrorist mass murder in recent times.

French coach Didier Deschamps is looking for the ideal preparation, something which is not always easy:

“There is a title at the end of it. You must not think of it, to focus too much on it. But you also need to stay true to what you are used to doing. What is ideal is to go into the game as relaxed as possible, at the same time focused on the match.”

“For the players its time to rest ahead of the game for the journalists the talk continues.”

“So who better to give us their opinions on how the match will go on Sunday than the Portuguese and French journalists from the euronews sports team Olà Bruno, Bonjour Vincent: Bruno who is going to win in the Stade de France?”

Bruno Sousa:“Portugal of course, the team is set up to win, It’s a pragmatic team, it leaves nothing to chance, but its aware of its limitations. It’s true we don’t play the beautiful game like previous Portuguese teams, but with the beautiful game we never won anything. It’s safe to say we no longer have the artists, not in the same numbers anyway. We have some exceptional players, but most of them work for the team. History is not on our side, we haven’t beaten the French since 1975, but I would like to add our last two wins took place in Paris. We know playing a final at home is no guarantee of victory. We celebrated too much before the final in 2004.”

Vincent Ménard:“And the result Bruno, is that Greece beat you in Lisbon and deprived you of a coronation as you stretched out your arms. So here in France we want to avoid that scenario. That would be a disaster after beating Germany, our nemesis, in the semi, only to lose to Portugal in the final. We are reassured that les Bleus have won the last two competitions held at home, Euro ’84 and the ’98 World Cup, I see a hat trick and France to win the final 2-1.”

Cinzia Rizzi: What are Portugal’s strengths and weaknesses?:

Bruno Sousa:“The biggest strength is Portugal’s collective organisation and its not easy to say that with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team. The side is tactically disciplined and all the players help one another. It is not easy to score against Portugal. Up front we have had some problems, mostly because we are unwilling to take risks, we don’t want to expose the team. The team was built, first and foremost not to lose matches. However we have seen when we have conceded goals, we immediately start taking more risks and the result is we haven’t taken long to get back into matches.

Cinzia Rizzi: “And what are the concerns for La France?”

Vincent Ménard:“It’s true that the Portuguese have the players to hurt us because our defence is not the best in the tournament, the defence can be breached. Didier Deschamps has had to tinker to get his central defence right because of injury and suspensions. That resulted in Samuel Umtiti being brought in, he had never played for France before last Sunday. Fortunately we have the majestic midfield duo of Matuidi and Pogba, and in attack a certain Antoine Griezmann.”

Cinzia Rizzi: “So who do you think will come out on top of the highly anticipated duel between Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann it’s deja vue, the pair met in the May 28 Champions League final.”

Bruno Sousa:“We have seen a huge change in Portuguese team during the tournament. For the first couple of matches everybody played for Ronaldo and it was up to him to make the difference. That didn’t really work against Hungary, however we now see Ronaldo playing for the team, he’s tracking back, he’s helping the midfielders, he’s passing the ball to teammates in better positions. And when the best player in the world plays for the team, then the team is stronger. I’m sure Ronaldo wants to beat Griezmann collectively not individually.”

Vincent Ménard:“Ronaldo has been the best player in Europe for the past 10 years it’s undeniable, but the tournament’s best player is Antoine Griezmann. Cinzia, you spoke about the final of the Champions League he lost with Atlético, he found that hard to take. But in the last matches he has been incredible, he is scoring for fun, two in the semi against Germany. If his form continues France will win the tournament.”

Cinzia Rizzi:“We’ll keep the ball in the middle of the field and wish you both the best of luck thank you.”

“We have got results wrong before and we’ll be wrong again send us your predictions for the final on the social networks, through the hasthag #TheCornerScores.

The journalists at euronews have been bold and gone for a 2-0 win for Portugal.

Let’s close this episode with a video doing the rounds on the Internet. Again its Cristiano Ronaldo and his famous semi final leap, 2 metres 60 to head the ball into the Welsh net. That’s all for now were back on Sunday after the match see you then.”

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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