Nice’s Dante: “We’re also playing for France.”

OGC Nice defender Dante (39) has said that the club will be “playing for France” when they take on Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa Conference League on Thursday evening. 

The Nice captain’s comments come prior to Paris Saint-Germain’s defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, which means Les Aiglons are the final French team standing in European competition this season. From 2024, an extra team from Ligue 1 will qualify for the Champions League, but only if French clubs perform well enough to remain ahead of the Portuguese and Dutch divisions in the UEFA coefficient. 

GIven PSG’s exit at the hands of the Bundesliga champions, and Benfica’s progression against Club Brugge, France’s position ahead of the Portuguese top flight is becoming more precarious. 

Within this context, Dante says that when Nice face Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol in the first leg of their Europa Conference League tie on Thursday, they will also be playing for France. 

In a pre-match press conference, transcribed by France Bleu Azur, Dante said, “I think in France, we’re aware of the importance of playing in Europe regarding the coefficient. We are also playing for France.”

Dante’s manager, Didier Digard, added, “It is an important match for the team, for the club, but also for France. If we want places in Europe, we have to play for the whole of France.” 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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