Deschamps on Euro final’s key players

France manager Didier Deschamps has discussed the players who are likely to have the biggest influence on the Euro 2016 final between the host nation and Portugal.

Les Bleus and the Selecao meet in a fixture that could result in either the host country lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy for a second time or the first-ever tournament win for the other nation.

Deschamps commented on star forward Antoine Griezmann, who is leading the scoring charts with six goals to spearhead his side's run to the final.

"Antoine plays in a position that he knows and often does so for Atletico," the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winner told reporters.

"It requires adjustments so the team are balanced. He's able to play in other positions if it's for the good of the team."

Asked what the strategies for dealing with Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo, he replied: "No-one has found [an anti-Ronaldo plan] yet.

"He has an athletic quality that allows him to fly. His physique allows him to have those abs! If we limit his influence, it'll be very important.

"Since our last game against [Portugal], many things have happened, but the most important thing is [Sunday].

"Cristiano's spent eight years at the top for club and country. If Griezmann can form part of the [Ballon d'Or] candidacy then it'd be good because it'd show he did well in the final.

"Antoine has that quality and efficiency which is important for the team, but he's not a soloist. He understands what the team needs, with freshness and character. It all depends on the collective."

Deschamps was asked to identify the other French player who has been key to his team's success in the tournament.

"I'm not surprised by Samuel Umtiti," the 47-year-old declared. "He knows I have confidence in him, despite his young age. He's a calm and quiet player, and I have no worries about him.

"The merit is his and his team-mates have helped him. He has the mental strength and character needed at the highest level."

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