France vs Germany: Karim Benzema laments slow start but sees bright future
Striker admits defeat was 'disappointing' but believes the French can be proud of themselves
Saturday 05 July 2014
Karim Benzema believes France took too long to get going in their 1-0 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Germany.
A 12th-minute header by Mats Hummels was enough for Germany to book a semi-final clash with the hosts, but Benzema thinks that France could have been facing Brazil if they had created more chances early on.
“We are disappointed that the adventure stops there. We gave everything, but we couldn’t score,” Benzema told www.lequipe.fr. “The first period was quite difficult, we didn’t have enough attempts for my taste. We had more in the second half, they were endangered, but they have a very good goalkeeper.”
Before that defeat, France had won over many neutrals by playing attractive football as they breezed through Group E and dispatched Nigeria 2-0 in the round of 16.
Benzema proved himself on the biggest stage, contributing three goals and two assists as the Real Madrid striker and Paul Pogba laid the foundations for Didier Deschamps’ side to surprise the naysayers.
“We can be proud of ourselves,” he said. “Do not forget that this is one of the best teams in the world and not one of us had played in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.”
Deschamps echoed Benzema’s sentiments and said he wanted his current squad to emerge stronger for the experience. “I’m very proud of what my players have achieved in this tournament,” he told Fifa.com.
“They weren’t that far short and we were up against a side that is used to playing these big games and has the experience to go with it. We just lacked that little bit you need to get the job done.
“This team is young and has a lot of quality in footballing and mental terms. We need to build on those attributes for our next big tournament – Euro 2016.”
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