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France reached the quarter-final of the World Cup 2014 after a 2-0 win over Nigeria, which was certainly not easy. France came into the competition after having done very poorly in the last two major tournaments. However, the tactical management of Didier Deschamps coupled with the iron fist regard to indiscipline has paid off dividends for the Europeans. They have reached the quarter-finals of the competition by scoring lots of goals along the way. France had to dig deep in to get this victory, as Nigeria proved more than resilient.
It took late second-half goals in order to get this victory. For long periods of the second half, it looked like Nigeria would get a stunning victory because they had several chances to score. However, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris stood between them and the goal with a brilliant performance. Deschamps made a few tactical changes in substitutions around the 75 minute mark that proved to be the decisive aspect in the match. Pogba, who is one of the favourites to win the young player of the tournament award, finally found a way past Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
After the match, Deschamps stated that he is extremely happy with the victory. He is aware that Germany will be providing a huge test. This current German team has a lot of top level experience.
“I am very proud of everything we did from the start. There was tension out there. They are a very strong side and there were a lot of duels. But we’re through. We’re in the quarter finals and we’ll do everything we can to go a stage further,” said the French national team boss. “There are no words to describe this. I know there is a whole country behind us. Scoring that goal really liberated us. I am so happy for the team and all France. I’m speechless,” said Pogba.
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French national team manager Didier Deschamps has attempted to do downplay their hopes of winning the World Cup 2014 by openly admitting that France will not be favourites this time around. The 2006 World Cup finalists have not done well in recent major tournaments, but the arrival of Deschamps has improved the fortunes of the team lately. He has surprised everyone by naming a squad that does not feature Manchester City star Samir Nasri. This is seen as an attempt by the former Chelsea man to improve the squad discipline, which reached an all-time low at the 2010 World Cup.
France have been given a group where they are expected to top quite easily. The likes of Honduras, Switzerland, and Ecuador are not seen as a much challenge for the Europeans. Despite this, Deschamps has downplayed the hopes of a World Cup title. France have not won a major title since the Euro 2000, while their previous World Cup success came in 1998. Deschamps has accepted that the recent altercations between players, managers, and the French football Federation have not been good for the image of the nation, but he says that they need to move on and find success at the World Cup.
“We need to move on now but the closure will only happen if we have a good World Cup, if we play well and we win games. The most important thing when you go to a World Cup is not to pick the best 23 players but to pick the best squad. It’s not just about talent, it’s also about attitude. They are all using social media in their spare time so they become more isolated and selfish. Nowadays you never see players playing cards. We used to sit around playing cards together all the time,” said the manager.
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