France must accept favourites tag at Euro 2020 – Paul Pogba
France must accept their tag as Euro 2020 favourites with "humility", according to Paul Pogba, who was superb in Tuesday's win over Germany.
Paul Pogba insisted France must deal with being labelled as favourites to win Euro 2020 after he led the way with a supreme performance against Germany.
Mats Hummels' own goal gifted Euro 2016 runners-up France a 1-0 win over Germany in their opening Group F encounter in Munich on Tuesday, putting Les Bleus well on their way to progressing to the last 16.
France – who finished with just one attempt on target – had opportunities to add to their lead, with Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema having goals disallowed for offside, though Joachim Low's Germany ultimately failed to make their luck count as they lost their opening game of a European Championship for the first time.
The winner came in fortuitous circumstances, with Hummels turning in from Lucas Hernandez's cross.
Pogba's exceptional pass played in France's left-back, however, and the Manchester United midfielder was on top form, attempting more passes (52) and more in Germany's half (31) than any Les Bleus player.
He also amassed a team-high 78 touches – albeit that total was 50 less than game-leader Toni Kroos (128) – and went in for 20 duels, the most of any player.
With the world champions having been tipped to lift the trophy they missed out on against Portugal on home soil five years ago, Pogba is adamant France must live up to the billing.
"The performance of the team is the most important. Without them, I would not have been so efficient," Pogba, who was also involved in a flashpoint with Antonio Rudiger when he appeared to complain that the Germany defender had bitten him, told M6.
"They helped me, they have everyone made the effort. This victory is for everyone, those who are also on the bench and in the stands to support us.
"Everyone was talking about our status as favourite, our attack, the group of death. We must assume our status with humility."
1 - Germany have lost their first game in a EUROs tournament for the first time, having won seven and drawn five of their previous 12 such matches. The only side to win the EUROs after losing their opening game of a tournament was the Netherlands back in 1988. Uphill. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/IIzNZ7ogfK— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 15, 2021
Didier Deschamps is aiming to become the first person to win the European Championship and World Cup as both a player and coach, and was delighted with a resilient display.
"We had a big match against a very good opponent," Deschamps told M6.
"I knew that my players were going to be ready, we were fighting for everything, even if in the first half we could have got the ball out a little better. We did not suffer that much in the second period. It's a tough game.
"This is our first game. In our group, taking these three points is important. We were at the level, this victory is good for us."
Deschamps' counterpart Low said he could not have asked for any more effort from his Germany side, who mustered 10 attempts to France's four, albeit only one of them hit the target.
"We really gave everything. We fought until the end, for 90 minutes," Low told beIN Sports.
"What we missed was a goal. We conceded a goal that we could have avoided, but otherwise I have no criticism to make. We lost a match, but we continue."
Germany next host defending champions Portugal, while France travel to Budapest to face Hungary.
Te recomendamos en English
- OLYMPIC GAMES USA at Tokyo Olympics 2021 live updates: gymnastics all-around final, Caeleb Dressel 100m free swimming final, medal count, results, today 29 July
- OLYMPICS | GYMNASTICS What does Simone Biles eat? The diet of an Olympic medalist
- OLYMPIC GAMES | GOLF Since when has golf been an Olympic sport and why?
- Lollapalooza 2021 Lollapalooza 2021: line-up, times and how to watch and stream
- LOLLAPALOOZA 2021 Lollapalooza 2021: covid rules and restrictions
- Stimulus Checks $1000 stimulus check for educators: how to claim it if I haven't received it