Raphael Varane and Hugo Lloris, who were part of the French team that lost to Argentina on penalties in the World Cup final on Sunday, said they were unhappy that they were unable to successfully defend their title but were proud of themselves for having battled until the finish.
Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France rallied twice, first to erase Argentina’s 2-0 lead in regular time and again to tie the score at 3-3 in extra time.
However, the South Americans prevailed 4-2 in penalties.
“We were not playing for an hour. We also might have triumphed. Both this organisation and being French make me incredibly proud. We maintain a proud posture. We returned to this game when it became challenging.
“Up until the very last second, we fought and believed. The game was not going well, but we almost turned it around… This group had a lot of heart and mental toughness. This gave us the opportunity to win this game again. We feel both pride and disappointment.
The game, which France captain Lloris referred to as a “boxing match” because Argentina was the superior team in the first half and quickly jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead, was levelled by Mbappe’s goals in the 80th and 81st minutes.
The Argentines had a strong start, being aggressive and utilising all aspects of the game. The goalkeeper claimed, “We were a little reactive all night.
Lloris resisted using the fact that numerous French players had missed training sessions over the previous week owing to illness as a reason for why they had missed the championship game.
We offered everything, we won’t be making any excuses, he continued. “You should praise the guys because we kept fighting till the very end,”