FROM ZIZOU TO GRIEZOU; French Ready to Match Class of 1998 as Ant Inspires Them Just like Zidane GERMANY 0 FRANCE 2 JOHN CROSS IN MARSEILLE Griezmann 45, 72

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

FROM ZIZOU TO GRIEZOU; French Ready to Match Class of 1998 as Ant Inspires Them Just like Zidane GERMANY 0 FRANCE 2 JOHN CROSS IN MARSEILLE Griezmann 45, 72


ANTOINE GRIEZMANN lifted a 58-year curse as Germany's luck at major tournaments finally ran out last night.

France forward Griezmann became the tournament's six-goal top scorer after his double fired the hosts into Sunday's Euro 2016 final.

Not even the Germans could spoil the party this time.

It was the first time since 1958 that France had beaten Germany at a finals and it exacted a measure of revenge for that infamous defeat in the 1982 World Cup semi-final, when keeper Toni Schumacher brutally knocked out Patrick Battiston.

This time, Joachim Low's men were the architects of their own downfall.

Bastian Schweinsteiger gifted France a penalty in first-half injury time before some kamikaze defending allowed Griezmann to double their advantage 18 minutes from time.

Germany have a habit of playing party poopers after knocking out the hosts from major tournaments on no fewer than seven occasions.

They played well for long periods but pressed the self-destruct button when it really mattered and the momentum just carried France on a highly-charged night in Marseille.

It was loud, spine-tingling and passionate throughout. Somehow France kept their nerve, rode their luck and now have a glorious opportunity to emulate the classes of 1984 and 1998 by lifting a trophy in their own country.

Zinedine Zidane was the man who inspired the French to World Cup glory 18 years ago.

Now they could have their new Zizou in the shape of Griezou as they gear up to face Portugal in Paris.

The Atletico Madrid star said: "I'm absolutely delighted and very proud.

"There's still one match to go to finish with a flourish. It's going to be very tricky but I hope this won't be the end of things. It's our duty to win matches for the French public."

Griezmann showed great courage by stepping up to take the penalty after missing from the spot in Atletico's Champions League Final defeat by city rivals Real. But he never thought about asking someone else to take the kick.

He said: "I really wanted to take a penalty in another important match.

"I'm pleased to have taken that decision and to have scored. For the second goal, I was just lurking to see if there was a mistake from the keeper. It dropped to my feet and I was delighted.

"We can start dreaming of July 10. But we have to keep our feet on the ground, there's still a match to go. We are delighted. Both before and during the game it was great with our fans. I hope we can relive that in the final."

The French also owe a debt of gratitude to one of Germany's most experienced campaigners. …

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