Lloris wants France to make history

Congleton Guardian: Hugo Lloris says there is no fear among the players ahead of the World Cup quarter-final against Germany Hugo Lloris says there is no fear among the players ahead of the World Cup quarter-final against Germany

France's unhappy history against Germany in the World Cup is looming over Friday's quarter-final encounter in the Maracana.

Not since 1958 have France emerged victorious, while there are still sore feelings over the infamous 1982 semi-final when West Germany won on penalties but only after France defender Patrick Battiston suffered a broken neck in a challenge by keeper Harald Schumacher that went unpunished.

Pictures of the Battiston incident dominated the front page of France's sports daily L'Equipe on Wednesday, highlighting the historical context of the game.

France's Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris said France will be looking to write a new page of history - and that Les Bleus are approaching the match without trepidation but with "sheer enjoyment".

He told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: "We are not afraid of anything - we know full well that in one match just about anything is possible including for this to be our last one in the World Cup.

"But but there is no fear, it's a real pleasure, a sheer joy to play Germany.

"We want to win this match for our friends, our families, for France!

"There is a long history between both nations but as far as we are concerned we live for the present moment, we want to write our own history."

France also lost out to West Germany in the 1986 semi-finals but this time Didier Deschamps' side are riding a confidence surge that has seen them reach the last eight without ever facing a serious challenge and playing some impressive stuff along the way.

Deschamps said: "We have played a very good World Cup and we will have a major opponent in Germany who is used to these situations.

"They always seem to get to the quarter-finals, semi-finals or final so are more experienced.

"Our strong points are that our players are very competitive and some play for major European clubs at a top level so we have had to make them more united.

"The fact that you are in the French team means you have duties and responsibilities and the spirit has been very high since the beginning of our preparation period.

"There is no pressure on the players, history is what has been and gone and tomorrow we will maybe write a new page in history."

Germany boss Joachim Low believes England's World Cup disaster was in part caused by the high percentage of foreign players in the Premier League.

Low said by contrast Germany is benefiting from a lot of young players coming through into the Bundesliga.

England finished the World Cup officially 31st out of the 32 teams having scored two goals and secured only one point in three matches from a goalless draw.

The Germany coach brought up the predicament facing England boss Roy Hodgson unprompted after being asked about the value of having some players being based in the Spanish and English leagues.

Low said: "Of course the English league has a disadvantage with a higher percentage of foreigners playing there and it becomes difficult for the national coach to get things moving.

"I think having many foreigners playing there is part of England's problem.

"Since 2009 things have changed for us and lots of young German players are coming through.

"We have a good blend, a strong league with three teams who are among the best in Europe with experience in tough competitions but I am not unhappy if some play in a foreign country and see other cultures and other coaches.

"Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira do for example and that can be of value and they can learn new things so I think it is valuable if the individual players go abroad."

Only around a third of Premier League players are English while 60% of the Bundesliga is German.

Low confirmed that defender Mats Hummels is available after an illness and the Borussia Dortmund centre-back is expected to return with right-back Shkodran Mustafi out injured.

The only uncertainty is whether Philipp Lahm plays as right-back or as a holding midfielder.

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