Euro 2016: Portugal vs France - 5 Players to watch out for
UEFA Euro 2016 is in its final lap. Two survivors remain and are hurtling towards the finishing line at breakneck speed, aiming to trump each other. Of the 24 who entered the arena for battle, the last duo are set to light up the football pitch one final time, to determine who will emerge victorious and hold the coveted trophy aloft at the end of the last duel.
Portugal have been considered by many to be the luckiest team to have played in an international competition in recent times. Their semi-final win over Wales was the first time they had won a match in the stipulated 90 minutes in the entire competition. But the match also proved Portugal’s credentials as challengers.
France have never lost a tournament they have hosted on home soil. Michel Platini’s side conquered Europe in 1984 before Zinedine Zidane inspired them to the World Cup triumph in 1998.
We take a look at 5 players who will influence tonight’s outcome:
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo
Going into the semi-final, Ronaldo had been roundly criticised for his indifferent and tepid displays in the knockout stages. It seems, though, every bout of criticism jolts Ronaldo out of his stupor and he was once again the difference between Wales and Portugal. Although a return of 3 goals and 3 assists would be considered amazing for most players, Ronaldo is not one of the crowd. The global superstar is in a league of his own, and he once again showed the world his class, against an unfortunate Wales side.
Opening the scoring with an imperious and towering header, Ronaldo put his impressive physical attributes on display for the world to see. A brilliant header of the ball, Ronaldo cannot be afforded any space in the penalty box or he will punish France. A shot cum cross allowed Nani to score Portugal’s second and seal the final berth for Portugal. The whole of Portugal will be hoping their talisman comes up with something similarly special tonight, in the final.