France tonight qualified for the 2018 World Cup final with a sensationally nail-biting victory over Belgium. Here is how the French players reacted, speaking to a mixture of TF1 and BeIN Sports.
Hugo Lloris on Didier Deschamps: “He is always calm, serene, very close to his players. Behind a great team, there is always a great manager. He has brought us his experience as captain in these situations.”
Kylian Mbappé on the Ballon D’Or: “I don’t care about that, I want the World Cup, the Ballon D’Or is not my problem.”
Antoine Griezmann: “It felt like an Atletico Madrid match, it made me feel at home. I started my season very averagely. This was my aim at the start of the season. It is incredible to see so much joy on the Champs-Élysées, we hope to give more of that on Sunday.”
A remarkably calm N’Golo Kanté: “I hope that we will all be happy after the final match. This is what we wanted, we prepared the match to go into the final. Only after the final we can be happy.”
Kylian Mbappé: “I wasn’t born in 1998, so I have never seen people on the Champs-Elysees celebrating. I am going to give everything in this final. We will kill ourselves on the pitch to finish the job.”
Olivier Giroud: “I can’t believe it. It was my childhood dream. It is the culmination of an entire career’s work. For me, I should have scored, but I am so happy for Sam. I hope it will be my go in the final. We are on a little cloud, we hope to stay there, but we will get back to work tomorrow. The French can count on us, we will do our absolute best to finish the job.”
Samuel Umtiti: “We all worked on this together. I scored, but all our efforts defensively have been recompensed. We did the job. It is with this attitude that we can win the World Cup. You can never guarantee that you will win the final, but we will be incredibly difficult to beat. It is the air that this team gives off, a doggedness.”