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France takes deep breath as Deschamps’ favourites make Euro 2016 entrance | Barney Ronay

Hosts hope a bravura tournament will help erase security fears and their national team are settled and ready for opening match against Romania

Here we go then. Get ready for – well, what exactly? Six years, one dethroned Uefa president,€2bn costs and a thoroughgoing tournament expansion programme in the making, France 2016 is finally upon us. Not quite in a haze of unbound, horn?tooting glee; more with a sense of hopeful, cautious excitement that will with any luck begin to rev up through the gears as France and Romania take to the field at Stade de France on Friday night for what seems likely to be a bravura tournament opener.

There is much to savour here. From the moment Michel Platini stood behind his plinth in Geneva six years ago and announced France had won the bidding process, edging out Turkey by a single vote, there has been a genuine frisson of authenticity about this tournament, Europe’s own Coupe des Coupes to follow Brazil’s wild, glorious, wasteful Copa das Copas in 2014.

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