1830: Today, two French legends and World Cup winners are celebrating birthdays: Zinedine Zidane turns 40 and Patrick Vieira is 36. Zidane is the last Frenchman to score in a competitive match against the Spanish. Both he and Vieira scored in a 3-1 victory at the second round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
1600: Spain has never beaten France in six competitive matches, but they're confident of victory tonight. "Football offers up something nice, which is you always get a chance at revenge and tomorrow night we get that chance," says Sergio Ramos, who played in a 3-1 second-round loss to Les Bleus at the Germany World Cup. "In 2006, we didn't possess the maturity or the experience that we have now. We were in the midst of being formed into a team, with a lot of new players." Since that result, Spain has gone on to hone the quick-touch, possession-based game that led the country to Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup triumphs.
1530: With three goals so far and some dazzling displays, Cristiano Ronaldo is shaping up to be the player of the tournament at Euro 2012, despite a slow start. Nevertheless, for many he's still in the shadows of Argentina's Lionel Messi. Head-to-head, Messi just shades it in terms of goals. Over the last five years, in all national and international competitions, Messi has scored 247 goals in 306 matches. That's an average of 0.81 goals per match. Ronaldo can boast 237 goals in 299 matches at a slightly-lower 0.79 goals per match.
1500: There's a mole in the German camp! Germany coach Joachim Loew is trying to plug a leak that has allowed news of his lineup plans to be all over the country's media hours before matches at European Championship. Coach Joachim Loew says he was upset by the leaks and believes agents are passing on information to the media after being informed whether their players have been selected in the starting XI or not. "I've spoken to the players about it. It's not they who leak the lineup directly. There are other channels. We'll find out."
1445: The English openly admit they won't outplay some of the better teams at Euro 2012, but in terms of tenacity and never-say-die spirit, they've traditionally been up there with the best. Says defender Ashley Cole in a BBC interview: "We're like 11 bulldogs who will never give up, who will always work for each other and basically die on the pitch for each other ... So far, it seems to be working."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.