sport

Deschamps: Write a new chapter

Didier Deschamps has called on his players to write "a new page" of French footballing history when they take on Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

The build-up to the match has seen plenty of discussion about the infamous 1982 semi-final between France and West Germany, when keeper Harald Schumacher flattened Patrick Battiston, knocking the Frenchman out with the most notorious challenge in World Cup history.

To this day Battiston has a cracked vertebra and damaged teeth as a result of the challenge, and the French have never forgiven Schumacher.

The West Germans won that match 5-4 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw, and in 1986, again in the semi-finals, the Germans beat France 2-0.

Deschamps wants those painful memories to be extinguished in the Maracana on Friday night.

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

"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."

Tottenham and France keeper Hugo Lloris said: "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 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."