After just squeaking into the World Cup by the skin of their teeth, France face Germany in a highly anticipated Quarter-Final match on Friday. Whether or not Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho will return to the starting line-up remains to be seen, but he’s going to be angry either way.
After a torrid qualifying campaign left them in a play-off against Ukraine for the final spot in Brazil, the 1998 World Cup winngers went down 2-0 in the first leg before the 24-year old inspired his side to a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture to send them through to the competition proper. “Of course I still have the rage inside me from that game,” he told the French media when asked if the prospect of missing out on this summers show-piece remain remains a motivating factor for the team. “We all have a little bit of that rage inside of us.”
The French were missing Sakho’s organization at the back during their 2-0 win over Nigeria in the Round of 16 with a number of nervy moments giving boss Didier Deschamps yet another reason to hope the former PSG captain will be fit for Friday. A thigh injury sidelined the 24-year old during Les Bleus goalless draw with Ecuador in their last Group Stage fixture. Regardless of whether he’s playing or not, Sakho believes that they have a good chance of toppling the Germans.
“We’re a very young team with new players. We’ve instilled a new spirit into the team — off the pitch, first of all — and it reflects on the pitch” he continued. “We know that Germany is a big team, a big football nation. But we’re also very good and I believe in us.”
With less and less opportunities to watch Liverpool players on the World’s biggest stage following the elimination of England and Luis Suarez’s four month ban from the game, Kopite’s everywhere will be hoping that Deschamps can welcome the Parisian Mountain back into the starting eleven.