“We don’t play as a team, we play in a whole country,” said German boss Joachim Löw before this high-level meeting, the absences of Mats Hummels (suspended), Mario Gomez (thigh) and Sami Khedira (the groin) giving him reason to throw his camp as an outsider. Didier Deschamps is aware of the fact that the Germans specialize in “domination of the opposition, possession of the ball”, but still hopes for a first victory in the final against France’s neighbors since 1958.
Antoine Griezmann: Cristiano Ronaldo had a higher profile, but the Atlético Madrid striker was the poster of the French EURO with four goals in the final before the match against Germany. His balance in front of goal would be crucial for Les Bleus.
Manuel Neuer: Winner of the Golden Glove at the 2014 World Cup, Neuer remained undefeated in his first four games at EURO, a Leonardo Bonucci goal for Italy in the quarterfinals stopping the clock 557 minutes from his record record longer without conceding a final major.
Hugo LlorisCaptain of Tottenham Hotspur for the 2015/16 campaign, Lloris could be as inspiring as Neuer in his time. Germany has ensured that he is honored in Marseille, his presence being as important as his stop in Marseille.
Joachim Löw’s team had 64% of possession in the first half but with the last kick, they were late. Bastian Schweinsteiger blocked Patrice Evra’s head with his hand and Antoine Griezmann – who missed a penalty in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final – was not mistaken, sending Manuel Neuer the wrong way from the start .
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Just as Germany seemed to be recovering in the second half, France struck again. Paul Pogba recovered possession on the left and Neuer, under pressure, could only push his cross away; Griezmann pushed the ball loose. Germany responded strongly, Joshua Kimmich shaking the outside of the post, while the French goal had several breakaways in the final stages.
Antoine Griezmann, striker from France: “I hope we will win the trophy, but for now, let’s take advantage of it tonight. We are delighted, we feel like children. We know the whole country is behind us, so we give everything for them. It is our duty to win matches for the French public and we hope that we can finish on a good note. ”
Didier Deschamps, France coach: “I had my share of finals as a player. I am very proud as a coach and proud of my players. When I wore this jersey, it was the proudest moment of my career. There shouldn’t be anything above the French jersey for players – this may not always be the case, but they are now very aware of what they can give people when they wear this jersey. ”
Joachim Löw, coach of Germany: “We had our chances but we didn’t score. Today we were unlucky; in 2010 and 2012, when we went out, the teams were better than us. Today we were better than the French, but for the goals and the result. ”
Elsewhere that night
Portugal confirmed their last place the night before, beating Wales 2-0, but many other teams could not take advantage of watching France and Germany on television as more than 40 matches from the first UEFA Europa League qualifying round concluded on Thursday evening. One of the biggest winners was Iceland KR, winning 6-0 in Northern Ireland at Glenavon.
After the semi-final, German coach Joachim Löw predicted: “I think France will win against Portugal. Portugal has so far not convinced me. Already a favorite, France seemed to be nailed to the winners after Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was injured, but they froze a bit in the spotlight, losing the overtime match (before redeeming themselves by winning the Cup 2018).
In contrast, the World Cup finals in Russia were a calamity for defending champion Germany, who lost in the group stage after the defeats by Mexico and South Korea. Joachim Löw remained at the helm and led a revamped German team by qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 – where they will meet France in Group F.