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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Remembering the France and Portugal XIs from the Euro 2016 final

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France and Portugal meet in the quarter-finals of the European Championship this evening, eight years on from contesting the final of the same tournament.

In 2016, Portugal ruined the dreams of host nation France with a 1-0 win in extra time, securing their first-ever major tournament success after several near misses.

Ahead of tonight’s tie, we’ve looked back at the teams from the Euro 2016 final.

Portugal

Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio

The highlight of São Patrício’s (Saint Patrício) 108-cap international career. The goalkeeper was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2016 and kept a clean sheet in the final, making excellent saves from Antoine Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko. After more than a decade with Sporting Lisbon he joined Wolves in 2018. Now 36, he recently departed Roma as a free agent.

🏆 EURO 2016
🏆 2018/19 Nations League

🇵🇹 Happy birthday, Rui Patrício 😀🎈#HBD | @selecaoportugal pic.twitter.com/32NeXCYg43

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) February 15, 2022

Right-back: Cedric Soares

Cedric Soares broke into the Portugal squad ahead of the tournament after an excellent debut season at Southampton in 2015-16. He did not make his first appearance at Euro 2016 until the Round of 16 but retained his place at right-back through the knockout rounds.

Centre-back: Jose Fonte

Like Southampton teammate Cedric, Fonte came into the team for the Round of 16 win over Croatia and retained his starting spot until the final. Portugal had struggled through the group stage but conceded just one goal in four knockout games with Fonte in the side.

Incredibly, the centre-back is still playing club football with Braga at 40.

Centre-back: Pepe

It was a man-of-the-match performance from Pepe who defended brilliantly in Portugal’s 1-0 win. The centre-back frustrated the French forwards and put his body on the line, earning a first international trophy for the Portuguese in Saint-Denis. He was named in the Team of the Tournament, having also earned selection at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.

🇵🇹 Pepe in the EURO 2016 final 🧱#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/FyqbSmClR7

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) July 15, 2023

Left-back: Raphael Guerreiro

Euro 2016 was a breakout tournament for Guerreiro who had earned just a handful of caps before the finals. The left-back was nominated for the Young Player of the Tournament Award and earned a move to Borussia Dortmund from Lorient.

Midfield: William Carvalho

William Carvalho represented Portugal at five major tournaments and won Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League with the national team. The midfielder had a crucial role in Portugal’s former success, anchoring a narrow midfield formation against France.

Midfield: Adrien Silva

Adrien Silva was another who came into the team in the knockout rounds after an unconvincing group-stage performance from Portugal. He was substituted on 66 minutes in the final and replaced by Joao Moutinho. The midfielder joined Leicester for £22m in 2017 but struggled in the Premier League, making just 14 league appearances.

Right-wing: Renato Sanches

Renato Sanches had a season to remember in 2015-16. Named as the Primeira Liga Breakthrough Player, European Championship Young Player of the Tournament and 2016 Golden Boy, he signed for Bayern Munich for €35m after Euro 2016.

However, his career has not reached the heights expected and the 26-year-old’s future is unclear this summer, following an underwhelming loan spell at Roma in 2023-24.

📅🇵🇹 Renato Sanches ballin’ #OTD at EURO 2016 🤤@renatosanches35 | @selecaoportugal pic.twitter.com/UxQpJaIjni

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) June 30, 2022

He was substituted on 79 minutes for Eder, who scored Portugal’s crucial extra-time winner. Incredibly, it is the only competitive goal the former Swansea forward ever scored for the national team.

Left-wing: Joao Mario

Another player to earn a big-money move after Euro 2016, Joao Mario signed for Inter Milan for €40m after his role in Portugal’s tournament triumph. He’s had a nomadic career since that has taken in spells at West Ham and Lokomotiv Moscow, before having a renaissance since returning to Portugal at Benfica.

Forward: Nani

A fine performance full of trademark fizz, Nani was Portugal’s biggest threat in the final and took over the captaincy after Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury-enforced substitution.

The 37-year-old, who won 112 caps for Portugal, is currently a free agent after leaving Turkish side Adana Demirspor.

Nani’s goal in the EURO 2016 semi-finals 🇵🇹⚽️#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/KOXQveeBNC

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 17, 2023

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s final was bittersweet as Portugal’s talisman was withdrawn on 25 minutes through injury. He spent much of the remainder of the clash barking orders from the touchline alongside head coach Fernando Santos, as Portugal and Ronaldo ended their elusive wait for major tournament success.

The greatest goalscorer in international football history, he has 130 goals in 211 caps and is competing in his SIXTH European Championship this summer.

Ricardo Quaresma was introduced as his replacement.

Leader ✅ Legend ✅ Future coach❓

🇵🇹 Injured captain @Cristiano Ronaldo displays his relentless drive as Portugal secure EURO 2016 title 🏆 pic.twitter.com/7lHsmH0Ose

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) February 2, 2021


France

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

France’s most capped payer, with 145 appearances. Lloris captained Les Bleus to four major tournaments, enduring the heartbreak of defeat on home soil at Euro 2016, before earning redemption at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His 20 appearances at World Cups is a record among goalkeepers.

Right-back: Bacary Sagna

Having missed Euro 2012 with a broken leg, Sagna featured as France reached the final four years later. The right-back, who spent time in the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester City, earned just one further cap after France’s final loss to Portugal.

Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny

The former Arsenal centre-back featured with a heavily-strapped knee in the final and will feel he could have done better for Eder’s extra-time winner. Koscielny spent the bulk of his club career in North London and made 337 appearances for Arsenal but soured relations after forcing through a transfer to Bordeaux in 2019.

Centre-back: Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti travelled to Euro 2016 uncapped and made his France debut in the quarter-final win over Iceland. He retained his place for the rest of the tournament and was later a key figure in Les Bleus’ 2018 World Cup win, scoring the winner in the semi-final against Belgium.

Injuries have decimated his career since and he has not been capped since 2019.

Left-back: Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra was an experienced leader for the runners-up in what was his final tournament for France. The left-back helped Les Bleus to a clean sheet in the semi-final win over world champions Germany but was unable to help France over the line in the decider.

No stranger to defeat on the big occasion, Evra’s four Champions League final losses are a record.

Midfield: Blaise Matuidi

An underrated part of France’s success under Didier Deschamps. Matuidi was an industrious midfield performer for Les Bleus and one of the better performers in their defeat to Portugal. Four years later, he started the 4-2 World Cup final win over Croatia in Russia.

Midfield: Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba faced criticism during the opening games of Euro 2016 and was dropped for the group-stage clash with Albania. After conceding a penalty against Ireland in the last-16, he bounced back with a crucial goal in the quarter-final win over Iceland.

The midfielder completed an £89m world-record move to Manchester United that summer but flattered to deceive in the Premier League. His best performances often came with France, for who he scored in the World Cup final in 2018.

🇫🇷 Olivier Giroud, Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet (👇) and Antoine Griezmann struck in the first half as France earned a semi-final spot at EURO 2016 #OTD!@equipedefrance | @dimpayet17 pic.twitter.com/xvg4ljHJA0

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) July 3, 2020

Right-wing: Moussa Sissoko

Arguably France’s best performer in defeat. The Newcastle man carved himself a niche as a marauding right-sided midfielder with Les Bleus, where his driving runs caused countless problems for the Portuguese.

Following the tournament, Sissoko completed a £30m move to Tottenham. He was substituted in extra time for Anthony Martial.

Left-wing: Dimitri Payet

An exceptional season at West Ham earned Payet a place in the France side and he opened Euro 2016 with a stunning last-gasp winner against Romania, having assisted Olivier Giroud’s opener.

Another goal and man-of-the-match performance followed against Albania, alongside a goal and assist in the quarter-final win over Iceland.

The winger was unable to influence the final, however, as France suffered a subdued defeat. He was replaced by Kingsley Coman after 58 minutes.

Payet at EURO 2016 🔥#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/hnMzBkh9jM

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) March 29, 2024

Forward: Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann won the Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot after scoring six times during France’s run to the final.

Griezmann’s campaign included braces in the knockout stage wins against Ireland and Germany, in the second-most prolific European Championship campaign of all time. The forward later won the Silver Boot and Bronze Ball as France won the 2018 World Cup.

🇫🇷 Antoine Griezmann at EURO 2016: 🔥#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/F9gOWCjKRX

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) July 7, 2023

Forward: Olivier Giroud

An influential figure in France’s success, Giroud won the Bronze Boot after finishing Euro 2016 with three goals and two assists. France’s record goalscorer with 57 goals, he will call time on his international career after Euro 2024.

He was substituted in the final on 78 minutes with André-Pierre Gignac introduced as his replacement.

Read – Iconic Performances: When Zidane left the Portuguese chasing shadows at Euro 2000

See more – Remembering the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament

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