Griezmann and Ronaldo clash in final for second time in six weeks

Fri Jul 8, 2016 10:11am EDT
 
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By John Irish

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - When France meet Portugal in Sunday's Euro 2016 final, the outcome is likely to depend on the performances of Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann -- the second time the two players have clashed with a European trophy at stake in six weeks.

Portugal's Ronaldo steered Real Madrid to their Champions League triumph at the end of May after his French rival Griezmann missed a penalty for city rivals Atletico.

The France striker has certainly bounced back from that disappointment. He is the competition's top scorer with six goals, having scored both goals in Thursday's defeat of world champions Germany.

Portugal's master tactician Fernando Santos needs to cut supply lines to a player whom the French call "Monsieur Griezmann" as a sign of respect -- despite his boyish looks.

It will be a challenge.

While Portugal saw off Wales, the Welsh playmaker Gareth Bale was still given enough space to create chances and were outdone more by the absence of midfield creativity than by Portuguese prowess.

That will not be the case for France who have a larger arsenal. Even if Portugal can snuff out Griezmann, Dmitiri Payet, the stand-out performer in the earlier rounds, can change a game in seconds.

Front man Olivier Giroud has also proved a handful by weighing on defenses and making space for those around him.   Continued...

 
Football Soccer - Germany v France - EURO 2016 - Semi Final - Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France - 7/7/16
France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring their second goal  
REUTERS/Darren Staples
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