France, who failed to set the FIFA World Cup™ alight with their opening goalless draw with Uruguay, must win their next Group A fixture against Mexico, defender Eric Abidal says. "Against Mexico we have to play for a win and nothing less," the Barcelona player insisted on Sunday.

He suggested France's less-than-convincing start, which came after group rivals South Africa and Mexico had drawn 1-1 on Friday's first day of action, in Group A, bore similarities with Germany 2006.

"In 2006 it was the same, we began with a 0-0 draw with Switzerland, but slowly but surely victories followed victories," with France making it all the way to the final itself where they were to lose out to Italy. "We have to be able to step up a gear and make it out of the first round," added Abidal, who with his fellow defenders succeeded in keeping a clean sheet in Friday's opener in contrast to their warm-up matches en route to South Africa.

But he warned his teammates that Mexico "are potentially stronger than Uruguay". Reflecting on Friday's stalemate in Cape Town he said: "One goal would have seen us okay. At this high level it comes down to small details."