After a month of non stop football, the Euro 2016 came to an end. To say I’m relieved is to tell only a half truth. While I’m relieved that I can take a break, I might go crazy without all the footie I’ve truly enjoyed in the past month.
I decided to do this a little differently. I wanted to include ForzaSusan on the match post for the final, since she bailed me out when work got exceptionally crazy and I was trying to keep up with two tournaments in full swing at the same time.
I came up with the idea to do an HB&HB podcast and Lozil agreed to allow me that liberty. The discussion was a lot of fun and I truly enjoyed our conversation. It’s something that I’d like to do again. Let us know what you think!
*In the podcast I say that Cristiano’s injury is a partially torn ACL and he could be out 4 months. That is no longer the case according to media.
If you don’t want to listen to ForzaSusan and I talk for an hour (I really tried to keep it short), then both of us have added some thoughts below. But please listen! And let us know if it’s something you’d like to have happen again!
Sunday 10 July 2016:
Stade de France, Saint-Denise: Portugal 1 – 0 France
Man of the Match: Pepe (Portugal)
Final thoughts from ForzaSusan:
I’m so glad that Lozil already talked in her congratulatory post about the moth situation. It is the first – and hopefully only time – I’ve ever been glad to NOT attend a final. I would have been a wreck… and a horrible person to sit near. If I was freaked out by the enormous insect hanging out with James in Brazil, this was no better. A friend suggested that having bats swoop in to grab the moths might have helped the entertainment value of the match. Sounds like my worst nightmare!
I know that mygypsyspirit will discuss a little more about the match but I’d like to talk about the folks who were involved in the final that I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the future. The most obvious name is Antoine Griezmann and for good reason. The Golden Boot winner for the tournament is only 25 and I expect him to get some serious minutes and play in the upcoming World Cup in Russia. (I’m trying really hard not to think about what monstrosity of insect the Russians will share with us. They will not want to be left out of the insect competition and quite personally, I’m terrified.) *ahem* Back to Griezmann. MyGypsySpirit and I both agree that if the coach of France for the World Cup, Deschamps or whomever may replace him if the FFF are unsatisfied, can play Pogba in the position he plays for Juventus, he will shine. And if Pogba is happy, he will feed Griezmann some beauties. Griezmann and Pogba make me excited for the French. That’s a pairing that will be fun to watch.
The other obvious one is Renato Sanches. The man is only 18 so, if all goes well for him, we have years to watch this man and that can only be a good thing. He already has a beautiful touch and I look forward to his creativity. I’m not as confident that he’ll get the support he needs from his fellow Portuguese (I hope I’m wrong) but I’m very excited to see how Carletto will foster this young man’s growth at Bayern Munich.
Oh, and one other thing. I promised mygypsyspirit that I would publicly praise the play of Pepe in this final. I was quite vocal about my dislike of his play at the Champions League final so it is only fair that I hail Pepe’s excellent quality in the match on Sunday. He was completely solid and I’m happy for him to get the nod for MOTM. The only reason I might question the MOTM is due to the extraordinary play by both keepers. Hugo Lloris and Rui Patricio were phenomenal throughout the match. But I’d hate to choose between the two, so Pepe – for once, I will not begrudge you anything and be glad for you for your MOTM.
Final thoughts from mygypsyspirit:
I like to think that I was relatively neutral going into this final. I wanted Portugal win for Cristiano to have that major international tournament trophy, but I really did like this France team.
Once Cris went down injured in the 8th minute, and more so when he was forced to come off in the 23rd minute, that changed. My heart wanted a Portugal win. This was a pretty good point of contention between myself and FABOD as I sat on her couch.
From a technical aspect, the game was not good. France seemed to take the withdrawal of Cristiano harder than Portugal did. Both teams made a lot of very easy technical mistakes. But I don’t think it was a boring match. Both ForzaSusan and I take notes during matches when we’re going to talk about it (unless we’re at the match) in a match post. And to look at our notes, makes the match seem much more exciting than the media narrative of it.
The goal, from Eder who I was sure was going to be the worst substitute of the match, didn’t come until the second half of extra time. It was a great effort. The assist came from João Moutinho before Eder brushed off Koscielny and rifled his shot into the bottom left corner from outside the box.
I look forward to seeing what the season brings for some of the players who made their presence felt at Euros. For the two finalists, I have to agree with ForzaSusan on her picks. Griezmann, who we’ve been talking about for quite a few years here at the blog) and Pogba are the obvious choices for France. Payet is one I spoke about in the podcast (if you were nice enough to listen) as well. The one I forgot to mention before is Kingsley Coman. Coman plays at Bayern Munich (unfortunately) and he’s only 20 years old. He’s fast (think nearly as fast as Bale) and he’s creative. He played really well in multiple roles under Pep Guardiola. He really is fun to watch and I hope Ancelotti can help his further development (for love of the game). Umtiti was quite good at the back as well.
As I said, I really liked this France squad.
For Portugal, I’d also have to agree that Renato Sanches is the one to watch. Bayern Munich get to claim this one as well. I’d like to learn from their scouts because holy crap they’re good!
To sum up, I’m very happy for Portugal and Cristiano. I think you saw how much passion he has for the game. Through the tears, and the excitement, he inspired that team.
NOW HEAL SOON! But don’t rush it….
Golden Boot: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Player of the Tournament: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Young Player of the Tournament: Renato Sanches (Portugal)
See you when the season starts!
-mygypsyspirit & ForzaSusan