We won’t let Socceroos continue our World Cup curse, says France great Amoros

France legend Manuel Amoros believes fear of suffering another opening round curse will ensure Les Bleus show no nonchalance against Australia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

French history is littered with stuttering starts at World Cups, and two-time semi-finalist and EURO 1984 winner Amoros, now 56, insists coach Didier Deschamps will allow no hint of complacency against the under-rated Socceroos in the Russian coastal city of Kazan on June 16.

While the chasm in quality between France and Australia is immense, Amoros - recognized as the best right-back of his generation - says France will be “more than happy with a narrow win” to kick-off the tournament.

“There is no way our country will take Australia lightly and considering our record of difficult starts at World Cups any sort of victory will be perfect for us,” Amoros said.

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“We know that Australia will present a difficult physical challenge and we will have to match that and then the talent we have in our team will most likely come into play.

“A 1-0 win will be enough, and then we go from there.”



The EURO 2016 finalists are notoriously slow off the blocks at World Cups.

In 1982, when a team including Amoros made the semi-finals, they lost 3-1 against England in their opener.

Four years later, they only managed to squeeze past Canada 1-0 with a late goal. In 2002 they suffered a stunning 1-0 loss against Senegal and drew with Switzerland in 2006.

“This all tells me that Australia cannot and will not be under-estimated,” added Amoros, who won 82 caps during a 10-year international career.

While Amoros is wary of hoodoos, he admits French fans were “pleased to have Australia in their group”.

“You always want to draw the lesser ranked teams but that doesn’t mean you disrespect them,” he said.

“Looking at the group (also containing Denmark and Peru) my feeling is that it will most likely be France to top the section with Denmark and Peru probably fighting for second place.

“But, you never know, in every World Cup there is a surprise and Australia might just be that team on this occasion.



“In Bert van Marwijk they have the perfect coach because he’s been to a final before with Holland. And with his pedigree, maybe he will find some magic again.”

Blessed with an abundance of match-winners, fifth-ranked France’s own worst enemy might be themselves, according to Amoros.

“Our team has so much ability and much is expected because we are among the favourites,” he said.

“The challenge for us will be getting the best from players like Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. We need them to click together as a unit and that isn’t always the case.

“How Pogba performs is crucial. We need him to run the show in midfield.

“He’s not Zidane or Platini of course, but so much is expected from him as the playmaker.

“If he isn’t at his best, we could be in trouble. Hopefully for us he rises to the occasion.”


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3 min read
Published 25 April 2018 at 3:54pm
By Dave Lewis