2016 UEFA European Football Championship: The Final
July 8, 2016 12:20 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

There can be only one

Portugal without Pepe and William. Wales without Ramsey and Davies. A first half without real chances, in another tactical game where both teams were fonder of waiting for a mistake (like when Danilo lunged at Bale still in Wales' defensive midfield, giving the speedy winger a complete field to run just to shoot it wide). But early in the second half, Raphael Guerreiro takes a quick cross from a short corner, and a majestic leap followed by a timely header by Ronaldo puts Portugal in front. This seem to have rattled the welsh team, and just a few moments later, Ronaldo picks up a clearance, drives a low shot, and Sanches (from an offside position) lets it go past him to Nani, who takes a sliding shot to make it a crucial 2-0. Other than a couple of long range shots by a mostly anonymous Bale, Wales did little more to get back on the game, and Danilo ended up missing the best chance of remainder of the game, forcing Hennessey to pick up the ball inches from the line following an incomplete save.

On the other match, without Kanté, France looked too soft on the middle, allowing Germany to take control of the game. Both goalkeepers had some work to keep the game level, but as the game progressed, with France mostly playing in their own half and Germany passing the ball aimlessly looking for some sort of break, it looked like it would also be deadlocked at halftime. Then Schweinsteiger takes a poor angle from the corner, and ends up deflecting the cross with his hand. After a delay, penalty awarded to France, and Griezmann calmly put France ahead right before half time. Without a proper striker, and lacking support from the wingbacks, Germany struggled to trouble the well organised French defence, while exposing their backs on a counter, and after Kimmich makes a mess controlling the ball in the box, Pogba dribbles past him, tries to put the ball on Giroud, Neuer gets a hand on it but if flies right into Griezmann who all but settled the top scorer discussion with the second of the night and sixth overall. Kimmich tried to redeem his mistake with a well placed shot outside the box, but as it flew past Lloris, it hit the woodwork proving it would not be Germany's night. As the French advantage already looked too big to overcome, Lloris denied the chance for a consolation goal, with a fantastic save from a Muller header.

France was one of the favourites at the start of the competition they qualified automatically for, while Portugal after a bumpy qualification round (with Fernando Santos taking over a completely outmatched Paulo Bento) were at the bottom end of the favourites, and while France were the first team to advance thanks to two wins in their first two matches, Portugal advanced with three ties, with goal difference making the difference between them and Turkey and Albania (knocked out in the group stages) and goals scored from Northern Ireland (16th and last team to advance). Portugal then defeated Croatia thanks to a goal by Quaresma in the last minutes of overtime, Poland in the shootout and finally Wales. France overcome a second minute penalty against the Rep. of Ireland, easily beat the sensation of the tournament Iceland and finally Germany.
Both finalists have an history together - for Portugal, it will be a chance to avenge the 1984 and 2000 semi-finals, where they lost to France in a dramatic fashion both times (Platini scoring the winner in the last minute of overtime, and Xavier's penalty handball in golden goal overtime), both times with France on route to a euro title. This time, the winner takes it all.

THE FINAL (21:00 local)
July 10, Portugal - France.
posted by lmfsilva (72 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
And here's the thing: As I've said, I really don't care if the national teams wins or loses; I didn't like how utterly fucked up it was when I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s. I don't like when they whine about tax-free prizes when people at home are broke but still cheering for them. I don't like the entitled bullshit that comes out of their mouths, talking about humility and playing better than everyone else in the world at the same time. If they win, heh, people are happy. If they lose, I get to make jokes.

There's only one exception, that one game I'd be very pissed to lose. Care to guess against who that is?

posted by lmfsilva at 12:28 PM on July 8, 2016

Good luck to the Portuguese team.
posted by nims at 1:27 PM on July 8, 2016

I have a lot of time for Ronaldo. He's a brilliant player and I enjoy seeing his stadium-sized emotions. The rest of the Portugal team, while very good, isn't entertaining to watch, to say the least, with the exception of Renato Sanchez. Some of the other attackers have flared occasionally, but only for brief moments. It's not a difficult team to root against, even though I quite like Portugal as a country and culture. The cherry on top of the sundae is Pepe. He's a world class defender, but any moment he is on the field is a moment spent worrying he'll do something incredibly enervating. He's the Mark van Bommel of this era. Damn he's an annoying player.

France is a country I lived in as a child and have visited often since. It's very close to my heart, so I'll be supporting France and either rejoicing or suffering along with them. The national team tends to be either brilliant or find new depths to plummet into. They seem to have hit form at exactly the right time, with most players playing better now than they ever have for Les Bleus. Only Pogba has underperformed, but even a subpar Pogba is a potent attacking threat. And damn if they aren't just fun to watch.
posted by Kattullus at 1:42 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

He's the Mark van Bommel of this era.

Hah! I wonder what would have happened if Pepe was on the Battle of Nuremberg.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh man, good old Battle of Nuremberg! That's one of the most shamefully entertaining games of footkicking I have ever watched. The image of van Bronckhorst, Boulahrouz and Deco sitting together on the naughty step after getting sent off, discussing the utter shambles they've taken part in and witnessed, will go with me to the day I die. What glorious awfulness!
posted by Kattullus at 3:19 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by lmfsilva at 3:21 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Someone said Mark Van Bommel! I have an excuse to link to this [SLYT, Andy Zaltzman reads from Van Bommel's diary on the Bugle (RIP)]

Oh also, while we're here. Thomas Müller's impression [SLYT] of Ronaldo is better than his recent scoring record...
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 5:14 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Vive La France!! Here's hoping they can go all the way now. Out of the two finalists, they have played by far the better football, and come through the hardest side of the business end of the tournament. It will be awesome to see them win it in Paris as well. Now if only England could do what France did, to revolutionise their football, and maybe in 20 or 30 years time we could have a team as good as theirs. I don't see it happening though, we have been sold out.
posted by marienbad at 8:02 AM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is hard for me, because I dislike both teams so much. But given how petulant CR7 was to Aron Gunnarsson after the Portugal-Iceland match, I'm reluctantly rooting for France.
posted by TwoStride at 4:16 PM on July 9, 2016

It's interesting - I wonder if it's an artifact of the larger tournament or what - but the two finalists have - combined - played only one team I would think of as top-ranked, France beating Germany. The second best team either of the finalists played was probably Portugal playing either an underachieving Croatia or an overachieving Wales. Last time, Spain reached the final by beating Portugal and France, while Italy beat Germany and England. The time before, Spain beat Italy and Germany beat Portugal, as well as overachieving Russian and Turkish teams respectively.

But go France; got my table at the pub reserved!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:38 PM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's a side effect from having two extra groups, and 16 advancing. Two pot A teams would have been downgraded (along the cascading effect that would have), and allowing all but the bottom 8 to continue (as opposed to all group winners + two best seconds) diluted the quality of the knockout a lot because a weaker team might just sit on it for 90+30 minutes and take it to penalties. Didn't help that there weren't that many quality teams, or teams playing well (or more accurately, playing well on anything that wasn't on the counter), as teams knew that with a win and a tie would advance them on most scenarios - Turkey and Albania were knocked out because their lone win didn't offset their losses, and that was the case with Northern Ireland or Portugal's three ties. So, teams were geared up to not lose, instead of winning. Sure, it would suck to send teams with six points packing (Belgium) or teams that got their second place fair and square against more favoured opponents (Iceland) but every group game would be like the first leg of a knockout. You just wouldn't want to be caught behind, in a situation only winning the group would be a guaranteed qualification.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:18 AM on July 10, 2016

Just under two hours to go!! Who is excited? Who will bother to watch the ceremonies before the actual game? Who is hoping for a France victory? Anyone care to predict the score, or how they think the game will unfold?

(I daren't make a prediction as all mine seem to have been wrong!)

All I will say, once again, is Vive la France!!
posted by marienbad at 10:10 AM on July 10, 2016

Also, would people prefer it went back to 16 teams, or maybe some other way of discerning who goes through (goals scored? goal diff?) might make for a more entertaining tournament.

I liked how lmf worked things out for the last 16, I felt their bracket was more interesting, but hey ho, we are not the powers that be.

Motty: Great moments, but not a great tournament
posted by marienbad at 10:14 AM on July 10, 2016

While you're waiting for the final to start, try this simple BBC quiz: Euro 2016 video quiz: How closely have you been watching?
posted by marienbad at 10:22 AM on July 10, 2016

England Team Iceland advert. Why yes, I am killing time until the footy starts, why do you ask?
posted by marienbad at 10:28 AM on July 10, 2016

I can't disagree with anything Motson wrote, except one thing:

I know you can't predict who will win each group but in the end Uefa produced a system which bunched together too many of the 'big hitters' in the knockout stages. In one half of the draw were Wales, Belgium and Portugal but the other had Germany, France, Italy, England and Spain. It became very unbalanced.

Spain could have played Portugal if De Gea covered his near post correctly against Croatia, and England doing their obligation and beating Slovakia would have pitched them against N Ireland. I hate this cross-group qualifications, but In a regular best two advance format, it's perfectly possible this would have happened anyway.

I'd much rather have a 32 (out of 55) team tournament with just the winner of the group advancing to the quarter finals (and if they want more games, then do a simultaneous "third place bracket" with all second place teams to fill-in calendar gaps) than another 24-team tournament again. It just doesn't work well in an age where minimally competent teams are able to shut down opponents efficiently. Drive the better teams to be in OBLITERATE mode from day one, not "heh, we can lose two by one and still advance winning the third by a couple".
posted by lmfsilva at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not long now!! How are you watching? I have gone for the BBC, as I prefer their coverage to ITV, and am watching online.

Anyone nervous? Excited? On edge? Calm and collected?
posted by marienbad at 11:43 AM on July 10, 2016

Also, moths invaded.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:43 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

David Guetta must have been one righteous human in his previous life given how much good karma he has to burn. That or he sold his soul to the devil. Depends on your religion, I guess.
posted by Kattullus at 11:57 AM on July 10, 2016

here we go, it all comes down to this...
posted by marienbad at 12:02 PM on July 10, 2016

Oh look, Ronaldos all right.

Portugal rocking there, and too easy on the header from the corner.
posted by marienbad at 12:12 PM on July 10, 2016

Poor Ronaldo! How awful. This isn't what was meant to happen. I hope he can continue.
posted by Kattullus at 12:19 PM on July 10, 2016

Wow - for once he isn't faking! Wonder if he'll make it past half time.
posted by marienbad at 12:20 PM on July 10, 2016

I have no Love for CR7, but I'd hate to see him out with a knee injury, a knee injury compliments of a wicked blind-side.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:23 PM on July 10, 2016

He's off. So now what can Portugal do?
posted by marienbad at 12:25 PM on July 10, 2016

I was only hoping for Ronaldo to suffer psychological pain, not physical. The moth landing on his face was enough. I think I might almost be a neutral now?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Eventually Ronaldo would give in to something. Had to be at the worst possible game ever.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:34 PM on July 10, 2016

Portugal have looked as good since he went off as before to be honest. France can't seem to break them down, and look a bit nervous.
posted by marienbad at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2016

France looking pretty poor to be honest, nothing is really working, no real attacks. Portugal could win this with a goal on the counter.
posted by marienbad at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2016

Is it just me or have there been a lot of poor corners at this tournament?
posted by marienbad at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2016

Should have scored there. This could end up going to penalties. This is easily the best Portugal have played all tournament.
posted by marienbad at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2016

It just seems like Portugal doesn't quite have the pace to really pull a breakaway. They keep getting caught and dispossessed.
posted by TwoStride at 1:33 PM on July 10, 2016

And they pretty much prove your point, TwoStride. They seem to be too deep, they have all game to be honest.
posted by marienbad at 1:37 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh man, Gignac! No way, France.
posted by marienbad at 1:38 PM on July 10, 2016

Portugal have made some great tries. If it weren't for that pesky Lloris, they'd have this sewed up.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2016

Holy Shit Gignac nearly wins it for France!! I (almost) take it all back!
posted by marienbad at 1:52 PM on July 10, 2016

Coman has been the difference - he has been so good since he came on.

Here we go, extra time.
posted by marienbad at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2016

So, so lucky. Griezmann could have done better with the rebound, too.

This is going to penalties.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:56 PM on July 10, 2016

I get that feeling as well, lmfsilva.
posted by marienbad at 1:58 PM on July 10, 2016

Gah, penalties, I hope not. They should just get rid of penalties. After extra time no winner: no champion, try again in 4 years.
posted by Pendragon at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sissoko about France's best player.
posted by marienbad at 2:04 PM on July 10, 2016

Lousy booking - Eder jumped into him.
posted by marienbad at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2016

France's starters all look so tired. In hindsight it was a mistake for Deschamps to name an unchanged starting eleven.
posted by Kattullus at 2:11 PM on July 10, 2016

Wow! So so close for Portugal! They have looked good in extra time.
posted by marienbad at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2016

Actually, that's not true of Sissoko, Koscielny and Umtiti. But all the others are a yard off the pace.
posted by Kattullus at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2016

Eder!! Has he won it for Portugal?
posted by marienbad at 2:20 PM on July 10, 2016

posted by From Bklyn at 2:20 PM on July 10, 2016

Will France hold it together or will they fall apart now?
posted by marienbad at 2:21 PM on July 10, 2016

This is over, Portugal have won. What a lousy end to the tournament if they win it.
posted by marienbad at 2:26 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Love Ronaldo coaching and encouraging from the sidelines.
posted by ceejaytee at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2016

I'm feeling oddly prescient right now

(If there's not a translate button, that's when Guetta had a vision Eder scoring a Maradona-like goal five minutes before the end)
posted by lmfsilva at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2016

Gutted. Damn; and I'm not even French.
posted by marienbad at 2:34 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

France should have played with more intensity during the actual game. Also maybe a bit more rotation, as Kattullus commented, would have been helpful.

Oh well, congratulations, Portugal - now Ronaldo will be even more insufferable. Gotta credit the substitution - Eder was excellent when he came on, really changed Portugal even before the goal - and that was terrible defending by France to allow him to get the shot away.
posted by marienbad at 2:40 PM on July 10, 2016

Yeah, I'm sad for Umtiti, who gave Eder too much time on the ball before his shot. Other than that one moment, he was excellent all game. But it only takes one moment to lose a football match. I hope playing for Barcelona will give him enough opportunities to win titles and put this game behind him.
posted by Kattullus at 2:47 PM on July 10, 2016

I placed a 1:0 bet in Portugal's favor on this game and then didn't watch it. Portugal bored me enough this tournament and I didn't want to gift them another 90 minutes (or two hours) of my life. This championship did not make a lot of sense to me and lmfsilva's comment highlights some of the reasons why.

(And I hope this doesn't offend anyone (too much). I actually don't care so much who wins this thing as long as it's interesting to watch. But in terms of entertainment (or lack thereof) this year's championship rivalled the gas leak year of 2004 for me.)

We'll always have Iceland and Wales, though. And I hope to see them again in two years.
posted by bigendian at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

CR7 should in no way be the dude hoisting that cup---Rui Patricio was outstanding tonight.
posted by TwoStride at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Once CR was off, Portugal had my sympathies, but wtf, don't let him claim this cup! Insufferable virtuoso egopath!
posted by progosk at 3:07 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ronaldo will be even more insufferable
Yeah, but at least now I can whine as much as I want that the national team does not begin or end with Ronaldo. He's one of eleven on the field. Sometimes he's the best of them, other times he isn't and he must give room to them (*cof*freekicks*cof*). The fucking Him+10 bullshit that fucker Scolari began better be put to rest now. This bunch of mostly B and C-list players won as a team. A very shitty team, that was the king of shitty teams on a shitty tournament.

posted by lmfsilva at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for making posts throughout the tournament, lmfsilva! It's been lovely to have a community here to follow the matches with. And thank you to all who read and commented!
posted by Kattullus at 4:01 PM on July 10, 2016

It's been a pleasure. I'm very happy with the level of participation: 1137 (8 now) total comments averaging 162/round. Pretty good considering I was afraid two posts would be enough.

If anyone wants to start thinking of ideas to follow the club season, I'll be putting up a post on talk about that midweek or so. Or, go ahead and do it.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

A very shitty team, that was the king of shitty teams on a shitty tournament.

well said. also, I'd also like to say thank you for your posting efforts, lmfsilva!
...and sorry for having hated on Portugal so much, fellow Mefites.
posted by bigendian at 4:46 PM on July 10, 2016

Oh and to those who can't stand Ronaldo, you can take solace in the fact that Ronaldo has waited for this moment the better part of his life and now he had virtually no role in winning that final, important game. And had to watch it injured from the sideline. Sure he's celebrating now, but when he'll be thinking back to this game in years to come, what really can he think back to?

Fate can be such a cruel mistress.
posted by bigendian at 4:54 PM on July 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ronaldo's situation is/ I thought would be the literal depiction of Schadenfreud. I always thought I'd be glad to see him get just creamed. But wow, was it not that.

The way France played after that, I had the feeling they, too, felt how close they were to it happening to them. And why, as wildly as they might throw themselves at each other, there's always a bit held back, a consciousness of not actually *hurting* each other - and Payet just tromped all over that boundary.

Not having an allegiance to either team at the beginning of the game, I was against CR7 if not for France, when Ronaldo was taken off I started hoping Portugal would win as a righting of the balance of things.

And, surprisingly, they did. As a team Portugal really did a one thing.

And thanks, lmf for putting these posts together. Was a nice addition to the whole experience of the tournament.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:46 AM on July 11, 2016

Just want to say thanks for the posts and discussions. Haven't always been around to take part and comment but it has been great to read your thoughts.

I did want France to win but they seem to have lost the game even before the whistle by not including Kanté to the midfield.
posted by sapagan at 1:44 AM on July 12, 2016

I think France lost control of the match when Ronaldo left. The devil that you know and all that. Oh, and Ronaldo apparently had a partially torn ACL. Not good at his age, although he could retire tomorrow and say he accomplished everything he wanted as s footballer.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:50 AM on July 12, 2016

I did want France to win but they seem to have lost the game even before the whistle by not including Kanté to the midfield.

Absolutely. Kanté should have started, and, much as he was great through the tournament, Pogba dropped. Even if that change had been made at half time I think France could have won it - how they failed to notice how much that change was needed is beyond me.

And yeah, nice job on the Euros threads, lmfsilva. I have posted World Cup threads to the FP in the past, so was interested to see how they went over here.

Unfortunately, as an England fan, I can't say "Bring on the World Cup," as, unless we get someone like Klinny in and he is allowed to ring the changes, we won't be doing anything special there either. I do appreciate the irony in asking for a German manager of the England national team - bloody immigrants, coming over here... lol - but look at what he achieved with Germany, and where they are now, and all the good things he has done in the USA. I am not sure who else we could turn to who has the track record he has.
posted by marienbad at 2:08 PM on July 12, 2016

The FA should consider Coleman. Or any available manager willing to work on a counter-attack system.

English players are already used to play on fast breaks, as that seems to be the bread and butter of PL football - defense recovers the ball, tries to put it on the midfielders or wideouts and quickly break upfield. Just get a solid triangle in front of goal - the center backs and the holding midfielder, demand tactical discipline on the wingbacks and get the rest of the midfield closing up their lanes (they don't even need to tackle - just close up shop and force the opponent error) and preparing to get open as soon as someone else recovers the ball.
There's a lot of talent in the English team. They just need find something that works with that talent.

And FFS, don't make the tallest player on the team take corners.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:40 PM on July 12, 2016

I don't think Pogba was the problem. Matuidi, as much as I rate him as a player, was the round cog in the square hole. If Kanté had been there instead, Pogba could have played his natural game, not been forced to play as a holding midfielder.
posted by Kattullus at 1:56 AM on July 13, 2016

I think that's more of an "and" situation. Pogba has the tendency to underwhelm in big matches - in every game I saw of him, the bigger it was, the less I saw it him.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:39 AM on July 13, 2016

BBC Quiz - Completely unscientific and random (so just like England at the Euros) - Choose Your Next England Manager...
posted by marienbad at 7:58 AM on July 13, 2016

saw this, thought of you (all)

"The Story of Euro 2016
posted by From Bklyn at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Cleverman: Sun and Moon...   |  Cleverman: A Man of Vision... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments