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France 'fear nothing' as Bleus pit their wits against Hugo Lloris' fellow sweeper keeper

The Spurs goalkeeper praised Manuel Neuer high-energy role in getting Germany into the quarter-finals.

Image: Gavin Barker

Mikey Stafford reports from the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro

A BIT OF a gambler himself, Huge Lloris must have enjoyed aspects of Manuel Neuer’s performance against Algeria.

However he restricted himself to expressing only the most restrained of professional admiration this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup quarter-final at Estadio Maracana.

Neuer’s sweeping performance behind Germany’s high line in the second round has drawn much praise, as well as inspiring painful recollections of Toni Schumacher’s infamous collision with Patrick Battiston when the two countries met in the 1982 World Cup semi-final.

France captain Lloris tends to play a more conventional game behind his international backline but at Tottenham he is renowned for coming outside his area to sweep.

While Germany coach Joachim Löw said Neuer was “extraordinary” playing “as a libero” against Algeria, Lloris was more reserved in his praise when The Score.ie asked for his appraisal of the Bayern Munich No1′s display.

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“When the team plays upwards you ask the goalkeeper to play a little bit up. You have to be very complete and the German goalkeeper did it well against Algeria. You have to adapt to the style of your team,” said Lloris, who put the high standard of goalkeeping at the tournament down to the attacking style of football that has prevailed.

“We have seen lots of open matches and many have seen the goalkeepers play very well, but we are not yet at the end. It shows that this position is a very good one — which is not always the case.”

Tomorrow’s quarter-final in Rio de Janeiro is the first competitive meeting between the countries since the fall of the Berlin Wall. After winning their group and defeating Nigeria 2-0 in the last-16 Lloris said he and his team-mates had nothing to fear against Germany, one of the pre-tournament favourites.

“There is another step in this adventure in front of Germany. We are focussed on this match and we will take it step-by-step. There are other nations, like Spain, that have gone home and others like Germany who have said right at the beginning that they intend to win the cup,” said the 27 year old.

Brazil Soccer WCup France Source: AP/Press Association Images

“We are not afraid of anything. We are fully aware of the fact in one match anything is possible and it is always possible for this match to be the last one. There is no fear. It is real pleasure, pure joy, to play Germany in a quarter-final. We are excited by the competition and want to win this match,” added Lloris.

“For friends, for relatives, for France. We will see what we do on the pitch we will try to be as good as possible.”

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Mikey Stafford

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