Although the French have most definitely encountered a few relatively shaky moments here and there since first establishing themselves as one of the standout teams among Euro 2016 this summer, Didier Deschamps’ proud outfit have seemingly held an illustrious place in the final at the front of their minds right from the very get-go.
Granted France were always expected to impress within the grand scheme of things – given their current status as tournament hosts and what not – but even on the back of such a significant factor within their growing success this summer, a great deal of credit must still be aimed towards the players for their collective efforts out on the pitch at Euro 2016.
France eventually saw off the Republic of Ireland with relative ease in the end after triumphantly topping Group A with little fuss. The likes of Iceland and Germany also proved unable to stop the French on their formidable course of action in recent weeks to much delight in and around the host nation itself – but will Portugal also roll over once Didier Deschamps’ side ultimately show what they’re all about in the final tonight?
Looking forward to the final tonight. Hopefully France will win, Griezmann has been my man of the tournament absolutely brilliant player
— Lise (@_reddevil23) 10 July 2016
— Gareth Winmill (@GarethWinmill) 10 July 2016
It’s a notion that remains far from conclusive at this particular stage in the proceedings. France will clearly have to nullify the threat of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo this evening if they are to stand any real chance of ending Euro 2016 on triumphant terms. The current Real Madrid star has nonetheless drifted out of certain matches so far this competition however, as Ronaldo’s overriding sense of self-absorbed frustration can often serve to halt his respective team as much as aid them.
Both Laurent Koscielny and Samuel Umtiti arguably represent two of the most well established centre-back candidates in the whole of world football at the moment, for even though Raphael Varane was largely expected to maintain his place in the French starting XI had he not suffered a serious tournament-ending injury earlier on this season, each of the aforementioned defenders certainly proved their worth against the Germans last time out.
Each of Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann will also likely prove rather pivotal for the French this evening one way or another. Griezmann obviously represents the highest tournament goal-scorer right in the here and now of course – and with West Ham’s Payet so far maintaining his impressive level of performance in and around the opposition’s penalty box for his nation – it remains difficult to imagine France failing to score against the Portuguese with all things fairly taken into account.
So then, although Portugal definitely can’t be written off before a ball has even been kicked among the final of Euro 2016, France will probably begin to justify the hype surrounding their first team starting XI this evening with yet another international footballing showcase worthy of going down in the history books for many years to come.