Thursday, 21st November, 2013

Mathieu Valbuena admitted it was an almost war-like intensity and fear that played a huge part in France making next year's World Cup.

Following their 2-0 defeat last Friday, France hit back with a 3-0 on Tuesday against Ukraine. It meant World Cup qualification in the most dramatic fashion, especially with the knives out for coach Didier Deschamps.


Les Blues could well have seen Deschamps and some of the staff shown the door had they not booked their ticket to Brazil, and Valbuena insists that fear had been a real motivating factor.

"The coach told us [the night before] that it might be our last meal together", Valbuena told L'Equipe.


"If there was to be no qualification, some people may be going away. It boosted us.

"I felt a huge waiting sense around the game. This was the first time it had happened to me with such intensity. But it was a duty for us to go to Brazil.

"These four days have strengthened us. We managed to stick together and realise that we were all there for the same goal: to go to Brazil."

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