By the Soccer Department
It’s finally upon us, the final of the UEFA EURO 2016 is here and there’s a big surprise. Before the tournament, it was a safe bet to have France either making it to the semi-final or even the final since they’re the host nation, but how many people saw Portugal making it this far? Of course, they did play on the other side of the bracket, but you can’t knock a team for finding ways to consistently win in a knockout setting. Portugal is here and they’ve got a legit chance at shocking France on home soil, just 12 years ago it was Ronaldo who was forced to tears after Portugal was upset in the final to underdog Greece. Now, Ronaldo has a chance at redemption as the roles are reversed, however, Antoine Griezmann & Co. will look to play spoiler on Ronaldo’s quest for International hardware.
Prediction: 1-0 France
Why do you think either France or Portugal win? France will end their winless streak in major tournaments on Sunday when they face off with Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal. The French firepower has too much momentum coming into the final and not to mention, they’re playing in front of their home fans. The French midfield and forwards are too overwhelming for the Portuguese side to handle and France will most likely dominate the majority of possessions and opportunities. The tournament’s leading scorer, Antoine Griezmann, has been playing the best quality of soccer as anyone while making his case for being one of Europe’s best players.
Man of the Match: Antoine Griezmann
Most intriguing match-up? Griezmann, Payet, and Pogba vs. Portuguese back-line.
Prediction: 2-0 France
Why do you think either France or Portugal win? Overall, I feel that Portugal have done great to get to this stage but haven’t showed their true potential yet. France have continued to dominate in victories over Germany and Iceland. France have advanced from the tougher side of the bracket and have a lot more talent in their starting 11. Ronaldo and Nani will give it a good fight but Griezmann and Giroud have been an even better partnership up-front this EURO. Also, I think Dimitri Payet will pull a lot of the strings in the midfield and he is always a threat from set-pieces and free-kicks.
Man of the Match: Olivier Giroud
Most intriguing match-up? Cristiano Ronaldo vs Samuel Umtiti. Umtiti has been forced to step-up after starting the last two matches, and he will have a lot to deal with in the likes of the Real Madrid star.
Prediction: 2-0 Portugal
Why do you think either France or Portugal win? I believe Portugal takes this one solely due to the fact that France has too much pressure on them to pull off the home win. Not only are they playing in France, but France hasn’t won a major tournament since 2000, so there will certainly be a lot of pressure on them to win. I’m not saying Portugal will have an easy time by any means, but France has a lot to prove, and that doesn’t always bode well for the home team.
Man of the Match: Nani.
Most intriguing match-up? Nani vs French back-line
Prediction: 2-1 Portugal in a.e.t.
Why do you think either France or Portugal win? It really could be argued for either of these teams in this one. France is the more complete and talented team but Portugal has been finding ways to win in key moments this tournament. Look for France to outplay Portugal for the majority of the game until Portugal once again finds a way to win.
Man of the Match: Pepe
Most intriguing match-up? Griezmann vs Pepe
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