- Image 1 of 3
- Image 2 of 3
- Image 3 of 3
Published July 10, 2016
The Latest from the European Championship (all times local):
The official team sheet handed out by UEFA for Sunday night's European Championship final contained a surprise weather forecast.
At the bottom of the sheet, under the lists of players, UEFA wrote: "Weather conditions: Snow." Temperatures, it added, would be a far-from-freezing 28 degrees Celsius (81 Fahrenheit) with humidity at 38 percent.
The only blizzard in sight at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis was the huge swarm of moths that descended on the playing surface.
France captain Hugo Lloris has run onto the pitch at the Stade de France to begin his pre-match warmup ahead of the final against Portugal.
Lloris was greeted by a wall of French tricolor flags behind his goal as he took to the field with his team's two reserve goalkeepers, Steve Mandanda and Benoit Costil.
Next onto the Stade de France pitch was Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio and his two understudies, Anthony Lopes and Eduardo.
The French goalkeepers were followed a few minutes later by the rest of the team, who jogged onto the pitch to a rousing chorus of "Allez Les Bleus" from flag waving French fans at both ends of the stadium. The players ran to the fans massed behind Lloris's goal and applauded them.
Last to arrive for their warmup were the Portugal players, led out by captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who also led his players in applauding the Portugal supporters.
Clouds of moths in the Stade de France are bugging players and officials ahead of the final.
In 28-degree (82 Fahrenheit) heat in the stadium, the moths are at field level and dozens of birds are circling about the roof.
Referee Mark Clattenburg of England was seen swiping at the moths as he tested the goal-line technology equipment at each end of the pitch before the France vs. Portugal game.
France coach Didier Deschamps stayed on the field only briefly with members of his staff 90 minutes before the kickoff
Members of UEFA's executive committee, including former Croatia forward Davor Suker, were also flapping their hands at the insects as they posed for a team photograph near the entrance to the players' tunnel.
Stadium staff with vacuum cleaners were gathering up moths in each of the technical areas in front of the dugouts.
Key central defender Pepe and holding midfielder William Carvalho return to the Portugal side to face France.
Pepe sat out the semifinal against Wales with a thigh muscle injury, while Carvalho missed it through suspension. Pepe replaces Bruno Alves, while Carvalho comes in for Danilo in a 4-1-3-2 and will sit in front of the back four.
Cristiano Ronaldo spearheads the attack.
France coach Didier Deschamps has kept the same side that beat Germany 2-0 in the semifinals.
Moussa Sissoko lines up on the right of midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the tournament's six-goal top scorer Antoine Griezmann playing just behind center forward Olivier Giroud.
Attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet keeps his place wide left, despite a poor game against Germany, while Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi will anchor the central midfield.
Center half Samuel Umtiti makes just his third international appearance and lines up alongside Laurent Koscielny.
Here are the lineups for the final between Portugal and France at Stade de France:
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Renato Sanches, Adrien Silva, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
France: Hugo Lloris, Bacary Sagna, Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Moussa Sissoko, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet, Olivier Giroud.
The state presidents and prime ministers of France and Portugal are set to watch their teams play at the final.
France President Francois Hollande has been a regular visitor, wearing his team scarf, in the VIP seats at Euro 2016.
Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls head the French government delegation on UEFA's published list of guests expected at Stade de France.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo da Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa should lead its government delegation.
Other government leaders scheduled to attend are South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary.
Sports leaders include FIFA's president and secretary general, Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura, and International Olympic Committee member Prince Albert of Monaco.
Football greats Luis Figo of Portugal and Ruud Gullit, captain of the winning Netherlands team at Euro 1988, were mingling at a UEFA-designated hotel near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday.
Mark Clattenburg, who will referee the final, has paid tribute to the behavior of players at the tournament, saying their desire "to get on with the game" has made matches more entertaining and easier to referee.
"There have been a lot of positive comments across the footballing world about the standard of refereeing at the final tournament," Clattenburg said in an interview with UEFA's website. "There's always room for improvement, but the behavior of the players has been fantastic - on the whole, the players have just got on with the match."
Clattenburg said advance contact with teams had paid dividends. "There's been no dissent, no mobbing of the referee. It's been a wonderful sight to see."
He said UEFA's Referees Committee had sent match officials to see each team before the tournament, listening to them and explaining what would happen during games.
The gates have opened at the Stade de France and the first French and Portuguese fans are trickling into the stadium with less than three hours to kick-off in the European Championship final.
One France fan quickly went to the French end of the stadium and began waving a giant red, white and blue tricolor flag as ground staff turned on sprinklers to wet the pitch after a day of hot temperatures in and around Paris.
France is looking to make it four wins out of five major tournament finals, after winning the European title in 1984 and 2000 and the World Cup in 1998. Portugal is still looking for its first major tournament win.
Pedro Pinto, a 49-year-old Portugal fan who lives in France said, "This is my dream final - the country of my birth against the country where I have made my home."
France or Portugal will top the European Championship prize money table with at least 25 million euros ($27.6 million) from UEFA.
UEFA created a prize fund of 301 million euros ($333 million) for football federations from the 24 competing countries.
All get a basic 8 million euros ($8.8 million), plus results bonuses from group-stage games — 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for a win and 500,000 euros ($550,000) for a draw — then payments on a rising scale for each knockout round.
France has already earned 18.5 million euros ($20.4 million) and can add 8 million euros ($8.8 million) more for winning the final on Sunday. The runner-up gets 5 million euros ($5.5 million) more.
Portugal currently has 17.5 million euros ($19.3 million).
Players should get bonuses totaling several millions from the prize money.
Germany — which got $35 million from FIFA for winning the 2014 World Cup — added 18.5 million euros ($20.5 million) from UEFA for reaching the semifinals.
Euro 2016 surprise teams Wales and Iceland go home with, respectively, 18 million euros ($19.9 million) and 14 million euros ($15.5 million).
Ukraine, the only team to lose all three group games, received the least amount of 8 million euros ($8.8 million).
France and Portugal come to the European Championship final at very different paces.
Portugal has taken four fewer days than France — 27 compared to 31 — to line up its seventh match at Euro 2016.
Portugal and Iceland were the last teams to kick off, on Tuesday, June 14 in Saint-Etienne, while France had been resting since opening the tournament on Friday, June 10 at the Stade de France against Romania.
Still, the schedule made both teams play one game on just two full days of rest.
Portugal's round of 16 game against Croatia was on a Saturday after a Wednesday group-stage game against Hungary.
UEFA's competitions director, Giorgio Marchetti, acknowledged that the transition from group games to the round of 16 — affecting third-place teams like Portugal — was the least-liked feature of the 24-team format.
France is playing Sunday's final less than 72 hours after completing a semifinal win against world champion Germany.
This European Championship has been the lowest scoring for 20 years with just 107 goals in 50 games so far.
The expansion to 24 teams has seen the average goals per game drop to 2.14 ahead of the France vs. Portugal final.
At Euro 2000, the average for a 16-team, 31-match event peaked at 2.74 goals.
The knockout stages at Euro 2016 have approached that level with an average of 2.71 goals — boosted by games like France's 5-2 win over Iceland in the quarterfinals.
Still, the expanded group stage dragged down the average with just 69 goals in 36 games — an average of 1.92.
The average goal tally at the past three tournaments was consistently between 2.45 and 2.48 per game.
Don't expect any France or Portugal players to get away with a head-butt or a simulated dive unnoticed.
A total of 51 cameras will capture the action around the European Championship final.
UEFA says the television production for France vs. Portugal includes cameras in two helicopters and two motorcycles working around the Stade de France.
A Spidercam attached to the stadium roof will give a bird's eye view of the game across the field of play, and ground-level cameras will run on rails behind each goal.
UEFA says eight super slow motion cameras and four high-speed cameras will also be used.
UEFA expects a global audience of 300 million television viewers for the European Championship final.
The predicted figure for the France vs. Portugal game is an industry-standard audit for in-home viewers averaged throughout the match.
For the 2014 World Cup final, FIFA reported an "average in-home global audience" of 570.1 million for Germany's 1-0 win over Argentina.
The Euro 2012 final drew a global average of 299 million for Spain's 4-0 win over Italy.
UEFA says Euro 2016 figures are up on four years ago. The 200 million TV audience for France vs. Romania in the opening match rose 30 percent above the Poland vs. Greece opener at Euro 2012.
UEFA believes 2 billion different viewers are among a cumulative live audience of more than 6 billion for the 51-match tournament.
More than 130 broadcast partners have paid UEFA 1.05 billion euros ($1.16 billion) for rights to screen Euro 2016.
France puts its formidable record in finals on the line when the European Championship hosts try to deny Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal a first major football title on Sunday.
French players have lifted the trophy in three of four finals over 32 years: Euro '84 and the 1998 World Cup on home soil, as well as Euro 2000.
Now a nation still scarred by last year's terror attacks will seek sporting salvation from its football heroes and a chance to party again in the streets of Paris, where security has been intense during the tournament.
"They are, in my opinion, favorites because they are playing at home and that's a big advantage," Ronaldo said. "The whole country is going to support them, but ... we're going to be difficult to beat."