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Revenge on Giroud’s mind as Germans come calling

sportspaper Updated: Jul 05, 2016, 10:40 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

PARIS: France will have the perfect opportunity to avenge their defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup when they take on their old foes in the Euro 2016 semi-finals on Thursday, according to star striker Olivier Giroud.

“It will be a great match, we have a lot of desire to get our own back for the World Cup,” Giroud said after his two goals helped France thrash Iceland 5-2 in Sunday’s quarterfinal.

A header from Mats Hummels knocked France out in the quarter-final in Rio de Janeiro two years ago and Germany went on to win their fourth global crown.

But an even more painful elimination at German hands lingers in the French sporting memory — the 1982 World Cup, which featured the infamous flooring of Patrick Battiston by Harald “Toni” Schumacher.

‘WON’T BE EASY’

Arsenal forward Giroud said the showdown with Germany in Marseille will be “a completely different match” to the romp against the Icelanders.

“They are the world champions and they are often in the last four of major tournaments,” Giroud said.

“I’m very proud of what this France side is achieving and I hope we’ll come out once again with the right result.”

In contrast to France’ s straightforward passage, Germany were given a severe test in their quarter-final. Italy took them to an error-strewn penalty shootout in Bordeaux on Saturday before Joachim Loew’s side triumphed 6-5.

DESCHAMPS CAUTIOUS

Despite Germany losing key players through injuries, France coach Didier Deschamps is in no doubt that Germany are the class act of the tournament.

“Germany are the best team, there is no doubt about that, even if Italy gave them a few scares. But we are there in the final four and we’ll give it our all,” Deschamps said.

“They are one of the rare teams which can control a match. It will be a great game but it won’t be a stroll in the park.”

France striker Antoine Griezmann said taking on the Germans in front of a predominantly French crowd at the Stade Velodrome will help.

“We’ll have to give everything we’ve got, it’ll be a semi-final at home, in front of so many supporters,” he said after his goal against Iceland left him top of the Euro 2016 scorers’ charts with four.

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