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Blanc praises Barca example

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jun 2012

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France coach Laurent Blanc has hailed Barcelona for the positive influence they have exerted on world football.

Speaking ahead of his team’s Euro 2012 meeting with Roy Hodgson’s England on Monday, former Bordeaux coach Blanc said he has been greatly influenced by Barca.

The Catalan giants hit new heights during the past four years under Pep Guardiola, before his resignation at the end of last season.

“Trying to play like Barca without Barca’s players is risky,” Blanc told L’Equipe.

“But our philosophy is to try to get close to it.

“Even in England teams try to play good passing football now. Norwich and Swansea have shown that mentalities are changing everywhere.”

Blanc inherited a French side in disarray after a calamitous 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign.

France failed to escape from the group stage in South Africa, and their tournament was marred by a player mutiny and training-ground strike.

Blanc has managed to unify the squad and France have arrived in Poland and Ukraine unbeaten in their last 21 matches.

They take on England in Donetsk on Monday, before matches against tournament co-hosts Ukraine and Sweden.

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