Euro 2016: France, Portugal gear up for final

Paris: The Euro 2016 final is just hours away. Hosts France seeks to win their third European Championship on Sunday when they face Portugal in the Euro 2016 final with the outcome potentially hinging on the teams' attacking talismans Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann.

If we take a look at previous records, France has beaten Portugal in their last 10 confrontations since 1978. Previously, France lifted the trophy in 1984 and 2000.

Meanwhile, Portugal will leave no stone unturned to spoil the French party by claiming a first major tournament trophy after their most recent final appearance ended in a bitter loss to Greece as hosts of Euro 2004.

The final is slated feature a clash of styles as Didier Deschamps' pacey, attacking French team face Fernando Santos's tactically astute and organised Portugal side.

The outcome of the final could depend mainly on the two men wearing the number seven shirt -- Portugal's Ronaldo and France's Griezmann, who faced each other in the Champions League final six weeks ago. On that occasion, Ronaldo's Real Madrid beat Griezmann's Atletico on penalties.

Griezmann is the tournament's top scorer with six goals, while Ronaldo has notched three.

Antoine Griezmann admitted that he and his team-mates feel a responsibility to bring joy back to the nation after the terror attacks in Paris last November.

The anxiety and apprehension which shrouded France at the outset of Euro 2016 has dissipated during the last four weeks that have seen Deschamps' team evoke the spirit of former France coach Aime Jacquet's 1998 World Cup winners.

France laboured a little in the group stage, relying on strokes of individual brilliance to top their group rather than cohesive team performances. And that trend has continued: they still are yet to settle on a system that works perfectly for their players, and one or two key performers have disappointed. Yet since coming from behind against Ireland in the last-16 they have played some devastating counter-attacking football, withAntoine Griezmannemerging as the player of the tournament and helping them to a thumping win over Iceland and then an emotional victory over Germany.

Portugal would admit that the team have somewhat ridden their luck through the tournament so far. They've only won a single match in normal time, having drawn all three games in qualifying and beaten Croatia with a somewhat fortunate goal in the dying minutes of extra time. But after a penalty shoot-out got them to the semi-finals, they produced their best match of the tournament so far against Wales.Cristiano Ronaldo finally looked close to his menacing best, and will be desperate to make a second Euro final some 12 years after losing his first on home soil against Greece.

An intense security operation will be in place over the weekend ahead of the final, to safeguard against any hint of complacency, but Griezmann insisted that his team have played in the tournament without fear of further attacks disrupting the competition.