World Cup-winner Christian Karembeu says hosts France must be wary of history-chasing Cristiano Ronaldo in the final of Euro 2016.
Les Bleus defeated Germany 2-0 on Thursday to book a meeting with Portugal in the European Championship showpiece in Paris.
Didier Deschamps’ side will be up against a team headlined by captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who is aiming to end his long wait for international silverware.
The Real Madrid forward drew level with Michel Platini’s tally of nine European Championship goals by scoring in the 2-0 semi-final victory over Wales and can grab the outright record by hitting the back of the net at Stade de France on Sunday.
“We need to be careful about Portugal because they have Cristiano Ronaldo,” Karembeu told Omnisport.
“You see the way they have taken [themselves] from third place [in Group F] to the final. That means they have all the parameters and all the things for them [to succeed].
“For sure, Cristiano has already made a record … by scoring as many goals as Michel Platini, and of course he’d love to [be] the first one who had more goals … he will be [a factor in] the final.”
Karembeu was part of the France team, captained by Deschamps, that won the 1998 World Cup on home soil, followed by success at Euro 2000.
As the national team nears a third Henri Delaunay Cup success, having also lifted the trophy on home soil in 1984, the 45-year-old claimed this team has had to suffer more under the weight of expectation than his generation.
“We all know that we have tremendous talent in the squad with [Dimitri] Payet, [Paul] Pogba, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Olivier] Giroud, [N’Golo] Kante, but obviously I think we are [also] a team,” he said.
“I think it’s very different because when we think about 1998, nobody was expecting us to get so far, so we’re going to compare obviously, today we expect them to win the tournament.
“The two cases are very different but we have talented and very young players, and with their talent they’re already in big clubs in all the top European teams, so I hope that we can see what they can deliver … [hopefully] they are efficient and can achieve great performances [followed] with victory.”
Karembeu was speaking at Carlsberg’s Play On Pitch final event, probably the best prize in the world. See more at http://Carlsberg.football
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