Fiji Time: 11:55 PM on Sunday 26 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

France faces new pressure

Ap
Monday, June 23, 2014

RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil - Having captured people's attention at the World Cup with some scintillating attacking football, France's players are now in unknown territory after raising expectations back home.

"Vertigineux" (vertiginous) was the front page headline of sports daily L'Equipe yesterday, illustrating how France has hit new heights with a photo of striker Olivier Giroud leaping into the arms of his teammates after scoring in the 5-2 rout of Switzerland. The emphatic victory followed a 3-0 win over Honduras in the team's opener in Group E.

"No one was expecting this result," centre-half Raphael Varane said. "We exceeded our expectations and it surprised us in a positive way."

Le Parisien's headline translated as "We Love These Blues," reflecting how France has won the fans over again after the World Cup shambles of four years ago, when its reputation hit rock-bottom following a training ground strike.

Now France, which faces Ecuador on Thursday, has to back up its early promise.

"We have to stay humble because we know that people will be expecting much more from us now," said Mathieu Valbuena, who scored one goal and set up another for Giroud.

None of the current France players have been in this position before at a World Cup. They were more used to hostile criticism from the media and the jeers of their home fans amid the fallout of that infamous strike.

"We can't get carried away because the road is still long," captain Hugo Lloris said. "It's the job of the older players to get the message across to the younger ones."

The European Championship two years ago repaired the damage a little, but the performance in the quarter-final defeat to Spain was unconvincing.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Siblings in shock
  2. Koroi ready to help Fijian scrum during Europe tour
  3. Farewell Duke
  4. In the dark
  5. Forum lifts Fiji ban
  6. Taskforce rakes in $500k in rent arrears
  7. Group of companies hold inaugural Pinktober celebrations
  8. Inglis salutes new Kangaroos X-factor
  9. Separating fact from myth
  10. Relief for farmers

Top Stories this Week

  1. Death shocks family Monday (20 Oct)
  2. Inside Fiji sevens Tuesday (21 Oct)
  3. Budget overspent Wednesday (22 Oct)
  4. Public access Tuesday (21 Oct)
  5. Kepa's not weak Friday (24 Oct)
  6. Full pay while on leave Friday (24 Oct)
  7. Forgery suspect still in remand Tuesday (21 Oct)
  8. $20m in excess Wednesday (22 Oct)
  9. Ryan's fight to help 7s Friday (24 Oct)
  10. $11.9m in arrears Wednesday (22 Oct)