Marseille (France), July 8 (IANS) France head coach Didier Deschamps heaped praises on match-winner Antoine Griezmann, who scored a brilliant brace to power his team to a convincing 2-0 win over Germany in the semi-final and set up a final showdown against Portugal in the European football Championship.
Euro 2016’s top goalscorer, Griezmann took his tally to six goals after France on Thursday, defeated world champions Germany at a major tournament for the first time since 1958.
“He’s (Griezmann) a great player and he proved that against Germany, he works very hard, along with Olivier Giroud from a defensive perspective he made us a very compact unit,” Deschamps was quoted as saying by goal.com after the win.
“He has this speed and technical ability, he had a few chances. He’s a very important player just as he has been with Atletico Madrid throughout the season,” the coach said.
Griezmann’s six goals at a single European Championship is bettered only by countryman Michel Platini’s nine-goal haul at Euro 1984, while the 25-year-old has now scored as many goals for France at the Euros as Thierry Henry (six).
Deschamps praised his side for ending their 58-year long drought against Germany and now has his sights firmly set on Euro 2016 glory.
“We’ve already written history. It was a long time since we’d beaten Germany but that didn’t mean anything today,” he told reporters after the match.
“We’re into the final and there’s a trophy up for grabs. I’m delighted for the players, it was a very tough game against a team who made us suffer but we suffered together.
“When you see the passion and the fervour in the stands around the ground…this team has everything it takes to be loved.”
France now looks ahead to Sunday’s showdown with Portugal, a quick turnaround for the hosts, who only have two full days of rest.
“It’s very short before the final, just three days so we have to savour tonight. I will ensure that even if it’s just two or three per cent we will go into Sunday’s game in top possible condition,” the 47-year-old said.
“We have a chance and Portugal has a chance, just because we are the host nation and beat Germany, it doesn’t give us additional powers. Portugal believe in themselves, we believe in ourselves,” the coach added.