Again France went on to win the continental crown while Portugal were left to rue the officials' decision to penalise Abel Xavier for a handball in the box as a shoot-out again loomed.

Officials say the police will patrol the Stade de France stadium as well as the Fan Zone near the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees boulevard.

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". We are not favourites but we think we can win.

The pair know each other well, having faced each other six weeks ago in the Champions League final in which Griezmann missed a penalty for Atletico Madrid in regular time before Ronaldo sealed city rivals Real's victory by converting the decisive spot-kick in the shootout. Deschamps started the tournament with three central midfielders and Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in the wide positions in a 4-3-2-1.

Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris called for a team effort to stop Ronaldo but Deschamps also said that it is nearly impossible to take him out of the match completely. "But we have the power to generate emotions and make them forget their worries". "Everyone has overcome obstacles to get here".

The defeat to Greece in Lisbon was Ronaldo's first tournament as an 18-year-old.

That could hinge on whether Pepe recovers from the thigh muscle injury that kept him out of the 2-0 victory over Wales.

Umtiti retained his place, despite Rami's availability, against Germany and again looked every inch the kind of player who is ready to shine on the big stage. "We can really talk about having a team now", he said. It's true we don't play the handsome game like previous Portuguese teams, but with the attractive game we never won anything.

Antoine Griezmann was part of a three-man attacking midfield against the Germans, sitting just behind main striker Olivier Giroud.

William Carvalho is back from suspension and likely to replace Danilo at the base of the Portugal midfield.

Portugal's coach Fernando Santos insisted however that his side were also determined "to write a new chapter in our history" by winning a first major title.

France, who have beaten Portugal in their past 10 confrontations since 1978, have previously lifted the trophy in 1984 and 2000. Portugal have only scored once in the past four meetings - a Ricardo Quaresma penalty in October 2014.

He said: "I haven't watched much of Portugal because I hate watching Ronaldo". But in the last matches he has been incredible, he is scoring for fun, two in the semi against Germany.

Swansea-born Coleman led Wales to their greatest-ever triumph this summer, taking his country to the semi-finals of the European Championships in France. No nation has won more.

But Didier Deschamps' men would be forgiven for feeling extra pressure.


COMMENTS