A country shamed by mutinous footballers four years ago has fallen back in love with its national team as revamped France looks to stay on course for a shot at the World Cup title.

In recent matches, we have noticed a love rekindled with the team. We have done what we needed to do on the pitch to make them happy.

Hugo Lloris, France goalkeeper

France did not have one World Cup win to their name outside of Europe since 1986 before beating Honduras in Brazil, and in the 13 major tournaments before this had won just 17 matches.

After breezing past Honduras and Switzerland (the number six-ranked team in the world) the contraversial omission of players such as Samir Nasri is totally justified. The the individuals currently playing in the team seem to play with more assurance and morale. 

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris told reporters, "In recent matches, we have noticed a love rekindled with the team. We have done what we needed to do on the pitch to make them happy.''

While player discontentment over bonus payments has swirled around the Nigeria squad in Brazil, the atmosphere inside the French camp couldn't be more harmonious heading into their last-16 match against the African champions.

France coach Didier Deschamps said "we have spent a lot of time together and the days are long ... but they are still smiling, they are happy to be here.''


Source: AP