Fiji Time: 2:53 PM on Saturday 27 August

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

France aims high

Afp
Sunday, June 15, 2014

RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil - Learning a hard lesson from its traumatic World Cup experience of four years ago has made France a stronger force, and the players are cautiously optimistic they can go far this time around.

First up is a potentially bruising encounter against Honduras in Group E in Porto Alegre tomorrow, one which will give an early indicator of the resolve in coach Didier Deschamps' new-look team.

Only five players remain from the 2010 World Cup campaign, where France shamed a nation by going on strike at training and went out of the group stage without winning a match.

This squad is hungry, focused and determined to make up for that shambles.

"Of course we have a lot of ambition, but we remain humble because we know we've come from and things can happen very quickly in football," France midfielder Blaise Matuidi said yesterday. "We won't get carried away. We have our feet on the ground, but we're aware that we have a good team and that we can do something good at this World Cup."

The team has been totally transformed since overcoming a 2-0 deficit away to Ukraine in the first leg of their World Cup playoff and winning the return leg 3-0.

That result won back a large portion of long-suffering fans and the players have not looked back since, using that positive energy to good effect to rack up 31 goals in the past nine games, including an 8-0 hammering of Jamaica just before boarding the plane to Brazil.

"It's important to find the right balance in this type of match, but of course we're an attack-minded team and whoever we play we'll try to attack," Matuidi said.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63900.6200
JPY 50.424247.4242
GBP 0.37370.3657
EUR 0.43830.4263
NZD 0.68420.6512
AUD 0.65260.6276
USD 0.49640.4794

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 26th August 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Veremalua gets help from Ryan on overseas contract
  2. Apologies as fans seek Ryan
  3. Beggar braves the heat for festivity
  4. Cost of living
  5. Fijian family survives quake
  6. Firm takes action over mynah nuisance
  7. Impact of VAT cutback
  8. Crowd delights chief
  9. PM leads celebrations
  10. Emotional day as 1599 students graduate

Top Stories this Week

  1. Ardent fan escorted out of celebrations Sunday (21 Aug)
  2. God — is he dead? Maybe, but not Osea Kolinisau's Sunday (21 Aug)
  3. 1 charged, 2 under probe for break-in Thursday (25 Aug)
  4. Wong helps Rawaca get a gold medal Friday (26 Aug)
  5. Ryan confirms decision to leave Fiji Sunday (21 Aug)
  6. Taliga eyes Tokyo Tuesday (23 Aug)
  7. 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurs in Fiji Monday (22 Aug)
  8. 7s top job Tuesday (23 Aug)
  9. Police escort fan away Monday (22 Aug)
  10. 'Ryan a loss' Tuesday (23 Aug)