Preview: France vs. Portugal
THE BIG PICTURE
There weren’t too many people before the World Cup started that would have predicted these two teams would be meeting for the right to play in the final, but both Portugal and France have clawed their way through the tournament and are just two victories away from lifting the trophy. Portugal has won all five of its matches, surviving a dramatic penalty shoot out against England in the quarterfinals. They will see the return of midfielders Deco and Costinha, who both sat out that game with card suspensions. France has gained momentum as the tournament has progressed. They put on an impressive display in the quarterfinals against Brazil with the old guard looking like they did in their prime.
Portugal last met France in a friendly in 2001 when the French ran out 4-0 winners. The two sides have not met in a World Cup finals. France have beaten Portugal in their last seven meetings. Portugal’s last victory over France came in 1975. It might not be the match you expected but it should be a great one.
Teams: Likely formation; shirt numbers, name, caps, goals, coach:
Portugal (4-5-1):1-Ricardo (54-0); 13-Miguel (33-1), 16-Ricardo Carvalho (29-1), 5-Fernando Meira (35-2), 14-Nuno Valente (27-1); 6-Costinha (47-2), 18-Maniche (36-6), 20-Deco (37-3), 7-Luis Figo (124-32), 17-Cristiano Ronaldo (36-12); 9-Pauleta (86-47) Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari
France (4-2-3-1): 16-Fabien Barthez (85-0); 19-Willy Sagnol (43-0), 15-Lilian Thuram (119-2), 5-William Gallas (45-1), 3-Eric Abidal (12-0); 4-Patrick Vieira (92-6), 6-Claude Makelele (48-0); 22-Franck Ribery (8-1), 10-Zinedine Zidane (106-29), 7-Florent Malouda (17-2); 12-Thierry Henry (83-36) Coach: Raymond Domenech
Follow the match highlights as they happen on the France vs. Portugal LiveBlog and stop by to leave your thoughts and comments about the match
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IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS
Billiards evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe (probably in France).
The fastest train in the world is the TGV in France, which can travel at speeds up to 515 kilometres (322 miles) per hour.
In the middle Ages, the highest court in France ordered the execution of a cow for injuring a human.
People in Portugal consume more fish per capita than any other country in Europe.
In Portugal the @ symbol is called arroba, a unit of weight.
Eusebio played for three different teams in the North American Soccer League (NASL): Boston Minutemen (1975), Toronto Metros-Croatia (1976) and Las Vegas Quicksilver (1977).
TEAM BLOGS & DISCUSSIONS