Rooney send-off haunts the French | india | Hindustan Times
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Rooney send-off haunts the French

Defender Gallas stresses the need to guard against provocations of the type used by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.Results | Rewind | Action-in-Pics | Your Take?

india Updated: Jul 05, 2006 17:16 IST

France, with six players on a yellow card, are wary of being deliberately wound-up by Portugal in their potentially explosive World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

William Gallas raised the danger at the eve of match press conference, citing the part played by Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo in his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney's sending off on Saturday.

"We saw in their last match against England that Portugal are a team who try to wind up the opposition, so we'll have to have cool heads.

"Look at the Rooney incident, perhaps he deserved to get a red card but we saw how Ronaldo hassled the referee to get him sent off.

"We'll be very attentive as they like to dive a lot, but a lot will depend on how the referee handles it too," the 29-year-old Chelsea defender said.

The need to keep cool is all the more vital for Les Bleus with captain Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Lilian Thuram, Franck Ribery, Willy Sagnol and substitute striker Louis Saha all in danger of missing the final in the event of victory if they get booked.

But Gallas insisted that the threat of suspension would not change their approach.

"They'll all go out and play at their normal level without thinking of picking up another yellow card.

"If unfortunately one does get suspended we're a squad of 23 and another player can step up to take his place."

Gallas reckons the last four match-up at Munich's futuristic Allianz Arena will be a totally different style of game to their stunning win over Brazil in the quarters.

"Portugal have the same style of play as France, we'll be trying to cancel each other out. There'll be high tension, I hope given the occasion it won't be too intense."

The France juggernaut has slowly built up steam after a sluggish start with two fine wins over Spain and Brazil and ahead of his most important game as coach Raymond Domenech stated: "We're ready."

"A World Cup semi-final is an exceptional moment and we're going to have to play even better than in our last two matches.

"The Portuguese aren't there by luck and I wish people would stop talking about their suspect tactics - Portugal are a team capable of giving us problems tactically, technically and physically."