France boss Didier Deschamps says final is lifting nation

By BBC.

France reaching the final of their home Euro 2016 is helping to bring back a feelgood factor in the country, says manager Didier Deschamps.

Les Bleus beat world champions Germany 2-0 in their semi-final in front of a fiercely partisan Marseille crowd.

“We don’t have the power to solve the French people’s problems but we can ease their worries,” Deschamps said.

“There is a lot of passion and fervour. There is a lot of happiness all over France tonight.”

There had been security concerns in the build-up to the tournament following the November attacks across Paris, including at the Stade de France, which killed 130 people.

Towards the start of the tournament there were strikes in France and protests in Paris over a labour reform bill, which saw 58 arrests and 29 police officers among 40 people injured.

“We experience the passion when we talk to the people,” said Deschamps, whose side face Portugal in Sunday’s final at the Stade de France (kick-off 20:00 BST).

“Now the players are well aware of that power, and what they can give to the French people by wearing these colours.

“When you see the passion, inside and outside the stadium, this team has everything it takes to be loved, the players are performing well on the pitch and I’m very proud.

“We are in a final. We have our chance and Portugal have their chance too. It’s not as if just because we’re hosts and have knocked out Germany that gives us additional power. Portugal believe in themselves, and we believe in ourselves. It’s still very open.”

  

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