By Laurent-Jude Boisrond-Canal
On Sunday soccer fans across the world are expecting an amazing match between France and Portugal. France, the host of the month-long European championship, qualified for the finals after defeating powerful Germany by an indelible 2-0 score.
Portugal, for its part, beat Wales by the same score as France, to reach the finals at Paris’ Stade de France.
France has been led by the prolific player Antoine Griezmann, who has played brilliantly during the tournament, scoring 6 goals. He is three goals short of fellow Frenchman, the retired Michel Platini’s record, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who eliminated Gareth Bale of Wales. Ronaldo, the Real Madrid superstar, scored the first goal in a game where the Portuguese had total control, and never really worried about the overachieving Welsh team.
France and Portugal can count on their respective stars who have brought their national teams to this level.
Griezmann, the French striker, who has had an incredible tournament is the best scorer of the competition. French fans are hoping that he will be the guy who brings the trophy to France. Ronaldo began playing timidly but took his game to another level by the third match against Hungary, where he scored two goals in the game. The three time Golden ball winner elevated his game and made everyone around him better. The finals may be Ronaldo’s last chance to win a trophy with his country.
Both teams have been unbeaten in this UEFA EURO 2016 since the beginning, and have an offensive profile. We all have in memory the crazy draw of Portugal with the Hungarian (3-3) and the French’s success in quarterfinal (5-2) against Iceland.
So we can expect a great game with an offensive tempo.
Even though, the crowd will be decidedly French, which will be a huge advantage for the home team, this game is too close to call. What I do know is that this game will be exceptional and anything can happen in the finals.