Sunday, July 02, 2006
France Master Zidane Shows Brazil How To Play Joga Bonita
The only 'Brazilian' player yesterday was Zinedine Zidane, Zizou showed his class and I am sad that he is stopping after this World Cup. What happened to Brazil? They gave France and especially Zidane too much respect. I was like watching the 1998 final all over again. The picture says it all, just look at Ronaldo's face and look at Zidane, he is just laughing at them.
Let's see what some of the players had to say
Zinedine ZIDANE (FRA)
We kept things tight and closed ranks. Physically, we were able to keep going until the end and we've come away with a deserved victory once again. Now, we're going to try and win that Trophy. I've got no intention of stopping now. It's just so amazing!
I’m very sad, very disappointed with this defeat. We had plans to go much further, but it didn’t happen. France were the better team, and when all’s said and done, that’s football. We are proud of how we battled and what we sacrificed in order to get this far. France didn’t surprise us. We knew that they were a great team, and they showed that. They played great football, intelligent football that got the better of us.
There’s no point looking around for excuses. France played better than us. They didn’t have a lot of chances, and their goal came from a set-piece, but once they scored it was very difficult for us to turn it round. I think that the team as a whole didn’t play well tonight. Robinho made a difference when he came on, and he tried to give us a lift, but now we have to accept the criticism and start to get the young players ready for the next World Cup. We didn’t play as Brazil can.
Life is a learning curve. We learn when we win, but you also learn when you lose. It was my first World Cup and I’m sad because I didn’t manage to become a world champion.
I’m just lost in the moment. I don’t like making plans for the future. I’m sad because we made a lot of people cry, including my family. Now it’s time to think about our club teams again in order to carry on doing well for the national team. I don’t think that there was any problem with our preparation. France were the better team, end of story. It hurts more when you don’t play. I’m much more nervous than when I’m playing.
We lost because we didn’t impose our style of play on them at any stage. Right now, it’s difficult to say why that happened. If we knew, then we would have done something about it on the pitch.
Florent MALOUDA (FRA)
It’s a good feeling to get to the semi-finals and I think that the most important thing for our team tonight was how we defended. We were like a wall and that allowed us to create some chances on goal. That made the difference. (Zinedine) Zidane showed his great experience and professionalism. Now we have some time to get ready for Portugal. We will also have to defend well in that match, and we have to give it everything we’ve got.
Thierry HENRY (FRA)
We deserved to win. Our tactics came off. It’s risky to say that we are the favourites against Portugal. The most important thing is to take one step at a time. As regards the goal, it was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. My job was just to put the ball in the back of the net. But the goal isn’t the most important thing for me. The most important thing is that we showed that we can play as a team. To play against Brazil, you mustn’t respect them too much, otherwise they can finish you off.
Patrick VIEIRA (FRA)
Our players were well spread out across the pitch, and we filled every gap. We played very well. The game was testament to the hard work we have put in up to now. We’re getting better with each match, just as in 1998. Now we are really up for it. Portugal will be difficult opponents, but we know that we can beat them.
Fabien BARTHEZ (FRA)
It was a great night. We did everything that we had to do. Tomorrow we can begin to prepare and it is important that we forget this game and concentrate 100 per cent on Portugal. It was a match between two important football nations, and it was always going to be decided in the details. We managed to make the difference. I haven’t got words to describe (Zinedine) Zidane’s performance. He was like our conductor.
William GALLAS (FRA)
It was our best performance in the last two years.