Thursday, June 21, 2018

Malouda wary of Torres threat

France midfielder Florent Malouda admits he is concerned to see Fernando Torres in form ahead of his team’s clash with Spain.

Torres has endured a difficult time since his British record 50 million-pound move from Liverpool to Chelsea, having scored just seven English Premier League goals in 46 appearances for last season’s Champions League winners.

Back in the national side, largely as a result of David Villa’s season-ending broken leg, however, Torres looks to have rediscovered his best form with two well-taken goals against the Republic of Ireland in the group stage of Euro 2012 an indication of his growing confidence.

“Fernando finished the season very strongly and showed great determination,” Malouda told reporters.

“He has a great desire to show that he is still one of the world’s great strikers. The Euros are a perfect showcase for him to show his qualities and he can demonstrate this and return to the club stronger.

“It will be difficult for us because we will meet again the player who won the previous European Championships and World Cup.

“It will be very dangerous for us to face Fernando, just like it was for us up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Fernando can easily score two or three goals and he is the player who makes great runs for his team-mates. He will be a true menace for us and we must do everything to make sure he will not shine.”

France will meet the defending champions having squandered the opportunity to top Group D after their defeat against Sweden.

That loss also brought about an end to their 23-game unbeaten run, and Malouda admitted his side could not afford a repeat performance if they were to prolong their involvement in the competition.

“It’s not the end of the run that was a shock but more the way it ended because we didn’t look like a team who had gone on such a long unbeaten sequence, that was the shocking part of it,” Malouda said.

“We have worked so hard since what happened at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago to qualify for the Euros and now to get into the quarter-finals here. The fact we gave up that run playing just like a normal team who came here to have fun was shocking.

“Every player knows this and we don’t need to be told by anyone else it was shocking. Now it is about how we start another run beginning against Spain.”


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