France vs Portugal - Preview

France have once again made it through to the final of a tournament on their home turf, as Portugal stand between them and glory on Sunday night. 

The route to the final for both sides has hit plenty of speed bumps; Portugal struggled to win a match in normal time until the semi-final, when a cagey Wales couldn't find a response to Ronaldo's stunning header, while France looked rattled when Ireland struck early, and required some magic from Payet and Griezmann to get them through their group stage matches.

There could well be a tough game ahead for them against Portugal, who have shown themselves to be incredibly frustrating opponents and very well-organised defensively. Despite the fact that they have a frontline and midfield packed with attacking talent, they look to be relying on the (ahem) nous and experience of Pepe at the back to keep things tight. 

They forced Wales into making passes in the wrong part of the pitch and playing long balls, which more than suited an aging Bruno Carvalho for that game, but with William Carvalho and Pepe set to return, they will need to be even more tactically adept to cope with France's attacking lineup. 

A strong contender for the player of the tournament, Antoine Griezmann has shown the French nation what Atletico Madrid fans already knew; that they have a very special talent on their hands. While Paul Pogba has failed to really ignite the tournament in the way that has been expected, the magic in his boots, along with those of Dimitri Payet, mean Portugal will have a very busy night. 

One of the surprise packages of the semi-final was Adrien Silva, whose work rate ensured that Gareth Bale never had a moment to himself and was unable to influence the game in the way manager Chris Coleman would have wanted. While Bale himself played well below par, that industry and energy will be something that Portugal hope can spoil the host's party this evening, in the same way that Greece did to them a decade ago.

France have the history books on their side, however. Not only have they won their last 10 games against Portugal (their best current run against any team after their 13 consecutive wins against Luxembourg) but they have also won every final of a major tournament in which they have played. Portugal, on the other hand, have played the most games in the history of the European Championships without ever winning the tournament (34).

The buildup to the game has focused heavily on the two star performers, Ronaldo and Griezmann, as they look to be the most likely players to have an impact. The Portuguese star has grown into the tournament as it has gone on, and while he will always face criticism no matter what he does, it's hard to argue that his three goals and three assists have not been pivotal to the success of Fernando Santos' side so far. 

Equally, Griezmann, after being dropped for the Albania game, has since been invaluable to France. His pace and positioning proved the downfall of Ireland and Germany, appearing where defenders didn't expect him to in order to steal in and glance home a header, or burst through the defensive line with his pace. 

However, there should also be some attention given to two other players who might have a big role to play in this evening's proceedings: Payet and Nani. 

Both players have three goals to their name so far in this tournament, while Payet's 15 successful dribbles so far show that he has more to his game than spectacular goals...as if you need more than that. 

Both have created goals with a couple of assists between them, and they have seen plenty of shots too; Payet has taken 19 while Nani has racked up 21. All those numbers mean that, should either side concentrate too much on just one man, they leave themselves open to being caught by the other actors who will want to have a say in tonight's drama. 

With a huge Portuguese population in Paris, the split of supporters in the crowd may well be closer than it has been in recent games for the home side, but with tension and nerves likely to have an effect too, there may well be a long night in store as both teams hope to avoid making any mistakes and frustrate their opposition. 

France vs Portugal - Live

France vs Portugal - Report

Eder put his name in the history books as his winning goal made Portugal Euro 2016 champions for the very first time as they defeated hosts France.

Overcoming the blow of losing captain Cristiano Ronaldo to injury in the first half of normal time, Eder took a shot from long range  that found the bottom corner of the net.

Twelve years on from losing Euro 2004 on home soil to Greece, they became the underdogs to defeat a favoured host nation. 

France made a bright start as they pressed Portugal early in the first few minutes.

But it was Portugal who engineered an early sighter after four minutes when a long ball out from the back found Nani between the two centre-backs but the Portugal forward couldn't keep his shot down.

There was an early scare for Portugal after eight minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo went down after a clash of knees with Dimitri Payet.

Antoine Griezmann then forced an excellent save from Rui Patricio with a looping header, with the Portugal keeper tipping it over the bar.

The pace of the game dampened slightly after that frantic start.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo sits on the pitch after a challenge during the Euro 2016 final soccer match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

There were more concerns over Ronaldo after that as he went down again with the same knee injury and required lengthy treatment and strapping on the sidelines before resuming play.

But on 23 minutes, the captain and star of the team acknowledged that his night was over and had to be stretchered off in tears to be replaced by Ricardo Quaresma.

On 32 minutes, a lively Mousa Sissoko turned his marker well in the box but his shot did not beat Patricio at the near post.

With Portugal settling into a 4-1-4-1 formation after losing their captain, a tight first half finished scoreless.

France's Moussa Sissoko, center, reacts after missing a scoring chance during the Euro 2016 final soccer match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The second half continued in the same vein as the first as both sides tried to keep things tight.

Griezmann briefly found space on the run down the left channel and had a shot at go 57 minutes in but Patricio was behind it all the way to make the save.

He then had a glorious chance on 65 minutes. Substitute Kingsley Coman lofted in an inch-perfect cross from the left for Griezmann, but the forward could only head the opportunity just over the bar.

Olivier Giroud then forced Patricio into an excellent with a shot from the left as France pressed forward again.

France's Antoine Griezmann, right, and Oliver Giroud react after Griezmann missed the goal during the Euro 2016 final soccer match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Portugal had two great chances with 10 minutes to go of normal time. First Nani's cross almost drifted over Lloris and into the net but the France keeper saved. Quarsema then put the rebound on target with an acrobatic bicycle kick but Lloris was right behind it.

Four minutes later at the other end, Sissoko fired a shot from long range which Patricio did well to tip away.

And just as the game entered stoppage time, Giroud's replacement Andre-Pierre Gignac almost won the game for France.

Receiving the ball in the box, the striker turned Pepe expertly and shot past Patricio, only to see his attempt come back off the base of the near post.

Thus the game went to extra-time.

Pepe had a header that just went wide but it would not have counted because of offside.

Portugal had another great opportunity with another headed opportunity from a set-piece with Eder guiding his effort towards goal but Lloris in the right place to see it away.

France's Samuel Umtiti, right, and Portugal's Eder battle for the ball during the Euro 2016 final soccer match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Two minutes after extra-time resumed, Portugal won a free-kick at the edge of the France box and Raphael Guerreiro's attempt rattled the crossbar.

But a minute later, Eder showed strength, before running at the France defence.

He then unleashed a speculative long shot from range which incredibly beat Lloris on its way to the bottom corner.

Portugal then hung on as France struggled to break them down. Victory meant Portugal also won Euro 2016 with just one win in 90 minutes when they beat Wales in the semi-final.