France ended a long wait for an important win over Germany on Thursday but the prospect of a Euro 2016 final against Portugal this weekend means celebrations - for the players at least - will be kept to a minimum.

"We have three days before the final, it's very short so we have to savour this victory," coach Didier Deschamps said after defeating Germany 2-0 in Marseille.

"It's an important step forward but the most important step is Sunday. We're going to do everything in our power to go in to Sunday's game in the best possible condition."

Portugal, and Cristiano Ronaldo, are waiting in the Stade de France final which could mark the end of a long, long journey for Les Bleus to reach the top once more.

After winning the home European Championships of 1984, it was a generation until Deschamps captained the side to World Cup and Euro glory in 1998 and 2000.

"I had my share (of finals) as a player. I'm very proud as a coach and proud of my players – it's not that I'm not happy personally but it's mainly for the players," Deschamps said.

"When I wore this shirt it was the proudest moment of my career. There should be nothing above the French shirt for the players; perhaps that's not always been the case but they're now very aware of what they can give to people when they're wearing this shirt for."

Few countries can do squad drama like the French. They returned home from the 2010 World Cup in disgrace after players went on strike against coach Raymond Domenech and even the run-up to Euro 2016 was marred by the suspension of Karim Benzema over his part in a blackmail scandal.

But winning has a tendency to tighten the bonds both within a squad and between the squad and the country at large. Long after the final whistle, thousands were celebrating on the streets of Marseille and countless more were doing likewise in Paris.

Defeated Germany coach Joachim Loew backed the hosts to go all the way and lift the trophy, saying Portugal "haven’t convinced me that much so far," but Fernando Santos' side are now unbeaten in 13 competitive games.

They have won only once in regular time at the Euros though and superstar Ronaldo has not always been at his best.

"We have our chances and so do Portugal. As host nation, and because we've knocked out Germany, that doesn't give us extra powers," Deschamps said. "We believe in ourselves; so do Portugal."

France had not beaten Germany at a major finals since 1958 and suffered semi-final heartbreak against their old rivals in 1982 and 1986.

Righting that particular wrong will carry only a bittersweet pleasure though should the job not be finished on Sunday.

"We've already (made history). It was a long time since we'd beaten Germany but that didn't mean anything today," Deschamps said. "We're into the final and there's a trophy up for grabs."

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.