President Emmanuel Macron described his pride after France returned to the World Cup final by beating Morocco on Wednesday.
The French president was at Al Bayt Stadium where Didier Deschamps’ side overcame the Atlas Lions 2-0, with goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani setting up a clash with Argentina in Sunday’s showpiece.
Defending champions France are the first nation since Brazil (in 2002) to reach consecutive finals – and the first from Europe to achieve the feat since Germany 32 years ago.
Macron paid tribute to the players, who he visited in the dressing room after the game, while giving his backing to head coach Deschamps.
“Our compatriots need simple and pure joy, sport provides it and football in particular,” he said. “I am much better now than I was an hour and a half ago.
“We suffered a lot, but we saw a great team. A huge thank you to our coach and to this team, which is actually a mix of several generations, and that’s what’s great.
“We bring back the cup and, obviously, Deschamps has to stay. This France team makes me very proud.”
France entered the semi-final without the impressive Adrien Rabiot, who was absent through illness, with Youssouf Fofana deputising in the heart of the midfield.
“There were a lot of hours of work” the Monaco man told beIN SPORTS. “It’s a shame that Adrien is not here to celebrate. I hope he will be there on Sunday.
“It was not easy replacing him, it’s hard to reach the level he’s been at since the start of the competition. We worked together and it worked out for us.”
Hernandez added to TF1: “To play two finals in a row is incredible. We did a great job, it was hard. The final against Argentina, we know it’s going to be a great game, we’re going to work hard to win this final.”
Originally Posted By Punch Sports Extra