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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

United front important for French success, says Cabaye

The French take on Nigeria today with a place in the last-eight on the line.

France's Yohan Cabaye poses with fans ahead of a press conference at the Teatro Pedro II in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.
France's Yohan Cabaye poses with fans ahead of a press conference at the Teatro Pedro II in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

YOHAN CABAYE HAS revealed unity within France’s squad is helping them perform on the pitch and put the disappointment of 2010 behind them.

Four years ago in South Africa, France’s FIFA World Cup campaign was disrupted by arguments in the camp and threats of strikes from some players, but the atmosphere in Brazil is a far cry from those troubled times.

And Cabaye has praised the leadership qualities of players such as Patrice Evra, who led the 2010 revolt against then coach Raymond Domenech.

“There are some ‘natural leaders’ within the squad, who speak a lot,” he said. “People like Patrice Evra or Mickael Landreau.

“When we are in a small group we can speak together about the game or what lies ahead of us. I am exactly the same with my team-mates as I am here with you now, it is normal.”

France have impressed in Brazil with two wins and a draw in the three group matches, and they head into their second-round match with Nigeria as firm favourites.

However, Cabaye insists the players are keeping their feet on the ground, despite having scored eight goals so far in the competition.

“The important thing is to have ambition but to stay down to earth,” he added. “We have to keep this humility, it is what keeps us going forward during the training and on the pitch during the competition.

“In my opinion it is important to know where we are coming from and where we are going now. Our main and common goal is to qualify for the quarter-finals.”

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