France under ‘positive pressure’ as Pires hopes for Spain clash in Euro 2020 quarter final
The Bleus legend feels Didier Deschamps’ side have embraced their billing as tournament favourites and hopes to see them book a tie with La Roja
France are under “positive pressure” at Euro 2020 according to Robert Pires, who is hoping his country set up a quarter-final clash against Spain.
Didier Deschamps’ men will advance to the last eight of the tournament if they can see off Switzerland at Arena Nationala in Bucharest on Monday night.
France are being tipped to go one better than their final appearance in 2016, with Pires confident that they can handle the weight of expectations but wary of the quality opponents standing in their way.
What’s been said?
“I think it is positive pressure,” the Bleus legend told Goal. “France are in the favourite position but there are many teams with good ability. We saw the Italian team.
“Many people are criticising Spain and I think that they have a good level and quality.”
France are currently on a collision course with Spain, who must get past Croatia to reach the quarter-finals, and Pires would like to see the heavyweight tie materialise, having been part of the team that knocked La Roja out before winning the trophy in 2000.
“It would mean that both teams are doing well,” the former Arsenal star added. “They are going to fight for the final and for the cup. I don’t know what will happen but hopefully there will be [a France v Spain match].
“Spain has very good players for me and every time that we play with Spain we know that it is very complicated. In Euro 2000 it was very difficult because on the field there was very good quality, and hopefully we will meet with Spain”.
How have France performed at the Euros so far?
France opened their latest European Championship campaign with a 1-0 victory against Germany as an early Mats Hummels own goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Deschamps’ men never really got out of second gear against the Germans, and were even more underwhelming in their second Group F fixture against Hungary, who held the world champions to a 1-1 draw in front of a feverous home crowd at Puskas Stadium.
However, Les Bleus produced a much-improved display to earn a 2-2 against Portugal, with Karim Benzema grabbing a brace, and ultimately went through as group winners.