Malouda hopes for repeat Brazil win
France midfielder Florent Malouda is hopeful Les Bleus can repeat their 2006 FIFA World Cup™ victory against Brazil when the teams meet in a friendly in Paris tomorrow. Malouda was part of the France side that knocked the then defending champions out in Germany, with a Thierry Henry volley guiding them into the semi-finals.
It followed France's emphatic 3-0 win over the Selecao to claim the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the hosts will be looking to repeat the feat at the Stade de France. The Chelsea forward was born in French Guiana, which borders Brazil, and he said: "It's a game that shares my origins and that of my family. My wife's parents are from Brazil.
"And the Selecao remains for me a very good memory. I'm talking about a quarter-final in 2006 against the great Brazil (1-0). Now, the context is different. We have a young team that starts, seeks and tries to gain experience.
"Brazil is a big football nation. One has only to compare the number of stars on the jersey. We would really like them. We will play this game with the ambition to win."
"This game will be a test," Malouda added. "But winning is always better for morale. As you can see the confidence can rebound after this game. The victory over England allowed us to show up. So we will try to do the same against Brazil. It's a real bonus."
France boss Laurent Blanc also has good memories of the 1998 FIFA World Cup final despite missing the match through suspension. He said: "Playing against Brazil in Paris and Brazil's desire to avenge the defeat in 1998 are enough reasons to motivate us. My players are motivated to play the Brazilians."
Inter Milan keeper Julio Cesar is back in A Seleção's first team and he believes this is the best moment for his return. "I've been playing well since I returned and this selection comes at the right time," he said. "This is a fresh start in the national team and I must show good form to keep being selected."
Midfielder Lucas believes both Brazil and France are enjoying a rebirth, saying: "The two teams have a mix of experience and youth. It'll be an even game and we are hoping to start the year with a win."
Renato Augusto is expected to earn a starting place in midfield in his first call-up to the senior squad. The Bayer Leverkusen player, who turns 23 today, said: "I'm happy because this is the result of my job. I hope I can pay this confidence back. This is the best birthday ever in my life."