France defeats Greece in a friendly match
In the preparation for the Euro 2008, World Cup runner-up, France took the revenge of their defeat by Greece in Euro 2008 as they won a friendly match by 1-0.india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 19:13 IST
World Cup runners-up France were happy to gain revenge for their Euro 2004 defeat when they rounded off an eventful year with a 1-0 win over Greece in a low-key friendly on Wednesday.
Les Bleus needed a first-half goal by striker Thierry Henry to get past Otto Rehhagel's side, which beat France 1-0 in the quarterfinals in Portugal en route to winning the 2004 European championship.
"It feels good to have won this match because maybe we had a little revenge," winger Florent Malouda told reporters after the game.
Coach Raymond Domenech said, "Winning a game against the European champions is not easy. I would have been happier if we had scored more goals but sometimes you have to be content with what you have."
The France coach believed the game was more a preparation for next year's Euro 2008 qualifiers than a conclusion to 2006.
"This year was marked by the World Cup final," he said. "Then, everything that happened before we got there is just an episode. To me, 2006 ended on July 9. After that, we moved on to 2008."
Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele, who was rested in the second half after being substituted for Olympique Lyon's Alou Diarra, said, "I will only keep good memories from 2006. Today, this team has a true identity."
Retired playmaker Zinedine Zidane, who was sent off in the World Cup final defeat for head butting Italy defender Marco Materazzi, received a standing ovation from the Stade de France on Wednesday in a tribute to the World Cup and European championship-winning players of 1998 and 2000.