Sunday, 18 November 2007

[Scotland 1-2 Italy] French reaction

France coach Raymond Domenech has taken the credit for Italy and France both reaching Euro 2008. "At least they were useful for once."

Le Bleus boss has made a habit of sniping comments towards the Azzurri, especially after the World Cup Final won on penalties in Germany last year.

Italy’s 2-1 victory in Scotland automatically qualified both Roberto Donadoni’s side and France for the tournament.

"They won because my words motivated them," smiled Domenech, who had suggested this week that Italy were 'draw specialists.'

"I didn’t see the game, as I prefer not to force myself to sit through too many ugly things. I feel both relieved and frustrated, as to be honest I would have preferred to play the last game in Ukraine with the need for a result.

"This is the strength of our squad, the ability to hold out under pressure, when we are afraid of elimination. I shall miss that sensation."

If Italy had drawn in Glasgow, France simply needed to avoid defeat in Kiev on Wednesday evening, but now that tie and the Azzurri’s against the Faroe Islands only serve to decide which of the two teams top Group B.

"I am happy anyway, as if we are qualified today then it means that we deserved it," concluded Domenech.

While French newspaper 'L’Equipe' offered to "kiss Italy’s feet" this morning, striker Thierry Henry also refuses to thank the Azzurri for facilitating France’s qualification.

The 2-1 victory in Glasgow yesterday evening mathematically saw both Italy and France through to Euro 2008.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Giancarlo Abete revealed he had received a phone call from French Federation (FFF) chief Escalettes to thank him for the result.

However, Henry agreed with coach Domenech that they do not owe a debt of gratitude to their cousins over the Alps.

"Someone didn’t want us at the European Championships," he told TF1. "I have read too many people saying 'grazie mille' in the newspapers. France qualified exactly the same way as Italy did, by picking up 25 points all on their own."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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