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Deschamps warns France to be vigilant against Portugal
Portugal aren't in the Euro 2016 final to be makeweights. That was the stark message from France coach Didier Deschamps in the immediate aftermath of his side's progress to Sunday's showdown at the Stade de France.
Portugal advanced to the final after beating Wales 2-0 at the Stade de Lyon. Fernando Santos's men were tactically well drilled against the surprise semi-finalists. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani were the Portugal goalscorers.
But France, after beating the world champions Germany 2-0 in Marseille on Thursday, were immediately installed as favourites to take the European Championship trophy for a third time after successes in 1984 and 2000.
"In a final we have our chance and Portugal have their chance as well," Deschamps told a press conference Thursday evening. "It's not just because we're the host nation and we've knocked out Germany that we will have additional powers.
"I believe that Portugal believe in themselves. And we believe in ourselves."
France confident but ...
Confidence in the France camp is likely to be high after the side overcame Germany for the first time in a competitive match in 58 years. Admittedly Thursday night in Marseilles was only the fourth tournament meeting between the sides since France's 6-3 victory in the 1958 World Cup third place play-off.
Deschamps, who was the captain of the France teams that won the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000 trophies, said he did not believe France's name was written on the cup.
"I had my fair share of success as a player and I'm very proud of what I've done as a coach and proud of my players," he said. "I'm happy above all for the players. Every time I wore the France shirt, it was the greatest thing that happened to me as a player.
"Perhaps that's not always been the case for the modern players ... but now they're aware of that reality and of everything that they can give to the supporters."
After ending their Germany jinx, the French are in the firing line for similar treatment: Portugal have never beaten them in a tournament.