France will go into their World Cup semi-final against neighbors Belgium with a "hunger to win" and a desire to show their 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry that he picked the wrong side, forward Olivier Giroud said on Sunday.
"It is weird to have Thierry against us in this match", Giroud told reporters.
At least 10 players with origin from African continent will feature for France in World Cup semi finals on Tuesday evening even after bungling of African teams out of the competition.
Giroud insists he will not allow Henry's presence on the opposing bench to distract his focus with a place in the World Cup final at stake. The Spaniard has shown great tactical pragmatism by setting up his side to suit the characteristics of his best players and exploit the weakness of opponents.
"The president will arrive to the France v Belgium match as part of a delegation in order to support his national team, as he said he would do if they advance to the semi-finals".
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The second seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark defeated America's Varvara Lepchenko 6/0, 6/3 to advance to the second round. In the women's section, meanwhile, Serena Williams returns after missing Wimbledon previous year while she was pregnant.
"When France were world champions in 1998", Giroud said on Sunday, "I think [Christophe] Dugarry scored one goal and [Stephane] Guivarc'h not at all".
"France has always been one of the favourites to win the tournament".
"For us to finally be able to knock out a formidable opponent is because of the experience we've picked up at previous tournaments and also the development of our players at their clubs", Vermaelen said.
"It is good to see that with such a young team France is progressing well".
"I would've preferred him to be with us, for him to give me and the other French attackers advice, but I am not jealous".