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Nikola Karabatic: "Winning this first match was essential"


Find the reactions of Nikola Karabatic, Dika Mem, Vincent Gérard and coach Guillaume Gille after France's victory against Croatia at the Euro this Thursday (27-22).

Nikola Karabatic (left back of the France team, BeIN Sport):

“It's a real satisfaction because we know that the starts are always difficult, especially given the conditions. We are very happy to have beaten this revamped Croatian team, which played well. It was a trick game. They came back because we lost a few balls and missed a few shots. In the end, it was a controlled game and it's perfect for the start of the competition. Winning that first game was essential. We saw it in 2020 when they lost to Portugal. It's a superb first victory and it validates the work done in preparation and the good atmosphere in the group.

Dika Mem (right back of the France team, BeIN Sport):

“I think we started this Euro well. It was not an easy match, after a very short preparation with only one friendly match. This victory is timely. It was a big defensive performance from us, with only 22 goals conceded. There were good things in attack, others to correct. But the first in a Euro is never easy and we passed it well. We knew that Croatia had less rotations than us and it was part of our plan to wear them down physically. We made the difference in the last quarter of an hour and that's what we expected. We followed our plan to the end and we are satisfied.”

Read alsoTops / Flops France-Croatia: the blue defense already there, Croatia cracks nervously

Vincent Gérard (goalkeeper of the French team, BeIN Sport):

“It was a complicated match to prepare for. It was hard to concentrate not knowing who would be there in front. But we managed to really get into this match. Some of our players were new to this level of competition and they boldly took their chances. We can only regret having only had a two-goal lead at the break. But the whole is satisfactory because we were always in front and we mastered the rhythm of the match without being worried. On the atmosphere, it's nice after all this time with empty rooms, to see life. Afterwards, it's never very good to see things fly on the ground, but no doubt it was due to some who had finished their beers a little too quickly. We knew how to remain lucid at those times.We managed the pivotal moments well.”

Guillaume Gille (coach of the France team, BeIN Sport):

“It's a good first step in this Euro, with a defensive performance which was very strong and which allowed us to gradually extinguish Croatian inclinations.

We also had to remain calm in this match where it sometimes blew hard on the field and in the stands.

In those moments, the group found the energy to stay focused on what was important, namely our handball.

It's a successful game.

Everyone was able to start their Euro by contributing their stone.

We have in this group many young players who did not know the joy of playing at a Euro.

There, they were able to do it even if everything was not perfect.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-01-13

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