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Full match report

Attacking duo get defensive praise

08 Jul 2006 - 11:14:52

France full-back Willy Sagnol has paid tribute to Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry for their hard-working displays on the way to the World Cup final.

Veteran playmaker Zidane and lone striker Henry have grabbed the headlines with their attacking flair in the knockout stages of the tournament.

However, Sagnol has been more impressed with their contribution to France's excellent defensive record.

"We don't have an iron defence," said Sagnol, ahead of Sunday's showpiece final against Italy in Berlin.

"We have a very high-performing defensive block when everyone just sticks together.

"When you see Zizou and Henry defending rather than attacking, that's something that needs to be underlined.

"Everyone talks about what Zidane and Henry can do in attack but there is not enough emphasis on their defensive work.

"I don't think we could ask Thierry Henry to defend like that all his career - he would be worn out - but in this sort of competition it's something we have to do.

"Titi (Henry) does it very well and that's why I hope France will win on Sunday and give him the win he deserves."

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