Sakho: France Will Play with Rage Against Germany
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 3, 2014 1:09 PM EST
France will channel all their rage in every kick they make in their upcoming quarterfinals match with Germany, according to defender Mamadou Sakho.
France's national soccer team striker Mamadou Sakho attends a news conference in Ribeirao Preto, 336 km (208 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, July 2, 2014.
The pronouncement of a fueled attack was not a personal vendetta against the Germans but a simple chip on their shoulder mentality for the French as they have been repeatedly been undermined prior to and during the tournament.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Sakho has been designated by the team as vice-capatin beginning the seond leg of the World Cup playoffs against Ukraine. The team was down 2-0 after a disastrous performance in Kiev, but the team rallied and Sakho scored in one of the team's three goals to seal the win.
The said turnaround snowballed to their next matches and France now looks unstoppable going into the latter stages of the tournament. France is unbeated in eight games and has kept six clean shutouts of their opponents.
''Of course I still have the rage inside me from that game,'' the Liverpool defender said Wednesday. ''We all have a little bit of that rage inside of us.''
Germany is the more experienced team of the two clubs which will collide in the upcoming quarterfinals match. The Germans have reached at least the semi-finals in each major competition since the 2008 European Championships while France on the other hand is on rebuilding mode and has not qualified for the semifinals since the 2006 World Cup.
The rebuilding has paid off for France as several new faces are now contributing to the cause. They only have two regular started who are 29 and over and Sakho believes that the young players have instilled a new spirit into the team off the pitch and it reflects on the game itself.
Sakho is France's oldest player amongst its new generation of players and has already represented his country 22 times. A hamstring injury forced him to miss the match against Nigeria but he is again healthy to battle against the Germans Friday at Marcana Stadium.
France has been in turmoil in the past due to reports of internal conflict and salary issues. All of those are a thing of a past as the team has bonded well and have established exceptional chemistry. They even conduct team meetings and dinners that tightened the shared bond among the players.
This has been a refreshing change after 2012 when players went mostly to their rooms after meals and rarely shared conversation or even worse in 2010 when, the team went on strike after one of their teammates was sent home.
The big changes in the team have been evident in the past few games but the difference will be spelled out in the next game when the face a tough, big and experienced German team raring to also win the World Cup.
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