France 'breathtaking' at SWC
Karim Benzema (AFP)
Paris - The French press hailed their country's "breathtaking" performance after they recorded their second consecutive victory at the 2014 Soccer World Cup, beating Switzerland 5-2 on Friday.
As it happened: Switzerland v France
Following their 3-0 victory over Honduras in the first round of matches, Les Bleus blew away their neighbours Switzerland in a match which L'Equipe described as a "magical display" and featured a side which "has all the weapons to become one of the star teams at this World Cup."
The victory came four years to the day after the French World Cup squad went on strike in South Africa and puts them on the brink of qualification for the second round.
For L'Equipe the French team's triumph was "breathtaking" and "marked the anniversary by burying (the memory) once and for all."
"The euphoria that they have created is proportional to what they showed with their desire, commitment, generosity, enjoyment and audacity," wrote Fabrice Jouhaud in the French sports daily. "Make the most of this moment," he added, as "France played in a way we have so rarely seen in the last 10 years."
Switzerland conceded just six goals in their qualification for the finals, but the paper's front page said that Switzerland were blown away by the "attacking verve" of the French side.
"Until now," argued columnist Vincent Duluc, "everything has gone well. Very, very well."
"Impressive" was the verdict of Le Parisien, who claimed that France "had opened up new horizons," claiming that "we have not felt such enjoyment since 1998," when Les Bleus won the competition on home soil.
"After this performance," the paper continued, "there is nothing we can't dream of."
"France has "rediscovered" a team which is "capable of continuing the good times and bringing success," it added
Liberation said Didier Deschamps' side "blew open the bank" in a match where they "obliterated" their opponents, while for Le Figaro, the result came as as a slight suprise.
"We expected a tight match, as did the Swiss. This was an explosive encounter the like of which the French team haven't delivered for a long time."
Elsewhere, the regional Courrier Picard newspaper hailed the French side as "irresistable," while la Nouvelle Republique du Centre Ouest and La Provence were categoric, branding the French team as "euphoric".
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Bixente Lizarazu, who played alongside Didier Deschamps in that 1998 World Cup triumph, praised the "terrific performance from the French team," arguing that "the Swiss defence were too weak for a French attack on cloud nine."