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'The way we defended... like lions'

"It was true at the beginning we were not playing well but it was harsh when people said we couldn't score," says France's Henry.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 20:05 IST

France coach Raymond Domenech said their mission was only half accomplished after reaching their second World Cup final on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Portugal.

Domenech's team now have the chance to follow the class of 1998 as the second French winners of the tournament. They face Italy in Sunday's final in Berlin.

"What matters now is to go all the way. We can't be content with that. We have to recuperate and start focusing. We must give all we have in that final to make sure we have no regrets," he told reporters.

One of his players who beat Brazil 3-0 in that Paris final eight years ago, FIFA man-of-the-match Lilian Thuram, could barely take in that he had earned a second chance of a winner's medal.

"I'm 34 and I feel like the 10-year-old boy who watched the World Cup and found it beautiful," he said.

"The final had been our objective from the start. Being there is a dream. Missing it would have been a nightmare."

Henry, another of the French squad of 98 but who did not play in that final, added: "We defended like lions. The way we defended, everyone, you could see that the team had desire and commitment and everything, plus a lot of technique.

"It was true at the beginning (of the tournament) we were not playing well but it was harsh when people said we couldn't score.

"The thing that is happening now is that we are not listening to it, to the stick. We are trying to play our game without listening to it. That's the most important thing in football," he said.