France have nothing to fear, says Vieira
HANOVER, June 28: France have nothing to fear against Brazil in the World Cup quarter-finals following their 3-1 win over Spain, midfielder Patrick Vieira said.
France came from a goal down to set up a repeat of the 1998 final which the French won 3-0 on home soil, a game in which Vieira came on as substitute.
''After tonight's game, we should not fear anyone,'' Vieira told reporters last night.
''Now facing Brazil is fantastic because they are a yardstick from the last World Cup,'' Vieira said of the showdown with the World Cup holders.
''It reminds me of when I came on with 15 minutes to go in 1998 final and I took a little part in third goal, to Emmanuel Petit, it's a fantastic challenge.'' Vieira, who turned 30 on Friday, scored his second goal in successive matches, picking up a second man of the match award along the way.
He grabbed France's second goal of the game to put his side in front in the 83rd minute when he pounced after Xabi Alonso headed Zinedine Zidane's free kick towards his own goal.
Franck Ribery, latching on to a Vieira pass, cancelled out David Villa's 28th minute penalty just before the break with Zidane putting the game beyond doubt with an injury time goal.
''The goal before the break was a psychological boost. During the second half we just tried to control the game and await our chances,'' Vieira said.
France stumbled through qualification for the finals and followed up by struggling in the group stages, finishing second to Switzerland and just edging out South Korea. But Vieira said there was better still to come.
''This is a fantastic victory, we beat a very strong Spanish side. We moved up a gear from the last game, we were strong in defence and midfield, never panicked,'' he said.
''Our goal is to go all the way. We're not there yet, but I'm sure we can play even better.''