Euro 2020: Portugal Faces Hungary, France Take On …
After Denzel Dumfries’ late goal and Patrik Schick’s stunner, the attention of the UEFA European Championship 2020 turns to the heavyweight clash of France vs Germany on Tuesday night.
Reigning champions Portugal also begin their defense of the trophy against Hungary at Euro 2020 in Budapest on Tuesday
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal are set to have the honour of a full house in the Hungarian capital, with the Puskas Arena the only one of the 11 venues at this European Championship where there are no COVID-19 limits on the number of fans allowed.
“It’s perfect. I wish every single venue could host a full house. It’s great for viewers and players, but sadly it’s not up to us to decide,” said Ronaldo of the prospect of a crowd of up to 68,000 watching the first of Tuesday’s two matches at the tournament in Group F.
Ronaldo is 36 now and aiming to score in a fifth different European Championship finals.
He needs just one more goal to become the outright top scorer in the tournament and is just five goals away from equalling the all-time international scoring record of 109 held by Iran’s Ali Daei.
But from Ruben Dias to Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix, there is also an outstanding team behind him and Portugal are hopeful of retaining the title they won at Euro 2016 in France.
“Right now we think we have what it takes to win the cup,” said coach Fernando Santos.
Hungary are the rank outsiders in the group but are hoping to make the most of their home advantage.
Les Bleus come into the tournament as firm favourites thanks to their status as World Cup holders and after coach Didier Deschamps decided to recall Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from a five-and-a-half-year international exile.
France lost 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals in Rio de Janeiro but are unbeaten in the five meetings between the sides since, including a 2-0 win in the Euro 2016 semifinals.
“This fixture brings back happy memories and not-so-happy memories,” said France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris. “It is one of the all-time great major tournament fixtures.”
Germany are under pressure to perform in front of home support at Munich’s Allianz Arena as they come into their final tournament under coach Joachim Loew, who will stand down as coach after the finals following 15 years in charge.
“The spirit is very good and the team is hungry for success. That makes me confident and allows me to sleep peacefully,” Loew said.
In stark contrast to Budapest, authorities in Munich are only allowing around 14,500 fans into the Allianz Arena for games, equivalent to about 20 percent of capacity.