With the UEFA EURO 2016 finals approaching, are France or Portugal more likely to win?

Published: 05.09.2016.

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We will be watching the hosts, France, play against Portugal in the finals. The reality still stings. We all know it should have been us playing at Stade de France this Sunday in Portugal’s place.

We were the only team that could have held Portugal to deadlock. We failed to deliver and this is a logical epilogue to our unfortunate match against Portugal. But I had enough to say on that matter, I won’t bore you any longer. The fact that Portugal went through to the finals instead of Croatia says it all.

Let’s be honest, Portugal did seemingly effortlessly destroy a great Wales. The Welsh kept it together and did as well as they could with what they had to give. Our capacities are greater, yet we still didn’t perform as well as we could have – when even our bench players outplay the Welsh first team!

Now a defensive Portugal is playing a defensive France in the finals. The French used their impenetrable defense to eliminate Germany in the semifinals, but they were also assisted by a lot of luck. Sometimes luck is the deciding factor; in that match, this was the case. Germany played very well, attacked fearlessly but kept missing their chances. France had more luck scoring, at the same time defending themselves from the physical Germans.

What should we expect from the finals? Both teams focus more on defending their own box than heading for the opponent’s goal. This strategy doesn’t have much appealto viewers, but has proven itself useful throughout this tournament. It reminds me of ‘70s and ‘80s football, the decades of defensive football styles. But people have always preferred attacking football and that is how I trained my teams. I don’t know whether to favor the French because they are on home turf or Portugal for being seemingly undefeatable. Oh, what a chance we missed! If it was us playing the French in the finals, we would be absolute favorites. We had an amazing generation that was sent home by a lesser team. That is the only truth. And now the lesser team has a shot at becoming European champions. Of course we’re beating ourselves up over that…