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Sport

‘No limits’ for Les Bleus after France beat Nigeria

© AFP

Text by Sylvain MORNET

Latest update : 2014-07-01

France go through to face Germany on Friday in the World Cup quarter-finals after beating Nigeria 2-0 on Monday. They are happy they came this far, and confident of going much further.

Monday’s game against the African champions was a tough battle.

But it got them where they wanted to be – namely the French Football Federation’s target of reaching the quarter-finals.

French striker Paul Pogba, who scored France’s winning goal (following a Nigerian own-goal) told reporters after the match, “We are all very happy with our performance today.

“I hope we continue like that. I’m enormously proud and happy with everything the team has done since the beginning of the World Cup.”

Fellow striker Mathieu Valbuena said Tuesday’s win represented a turnaround for the French side since a humiliating dfeat in Ukraine in November (where France lost 0-2).

“Playing here was fabulous, and [going through the the quarters]has lifted our spirits,” he said. “It isn’t over, though. We all want to go much further.”

His feelings were echoed by teammate Olivier Giroud, who told FRANCE 24, “France is now officially one of the eight best sides in the World. We are hugely proud. We’ve worked at this for months and we’ve been rewarded for it.”

“But the adventure hasn’t finished yet,” the Arsenal striker added. “We know we’ve achieved something big, but we’re not setting any limits. We can make history here.”

Friday will be France’s seventh quarter-final, a World Cup stage the side has consistently won (the last five times, in 1958, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2006).

They will face Germany, their biggest challenge of the World Cup so far (bookmakers give the Germans slightly better odds), at the Maracana stadium in Rio.

“Everyone, the fans, all the French, can be proud we got this far,” said Valbuena. “We have to savour this qualification, while I hope we will be able to further France’s World Cup dream.”

Date created : 2014-07-01

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