Hugo Lloris insists France will need 'all our strength, all our energy' when they face Morocco in the World Cup semi-finals.

Les Bleus became the first reigning champions to reach the last four since Brazil in 1998 after edging out England in a tight quarter-final on Saturday, Olivier Giroud's late header settling the tie.

It was a special day for Lloris, who became France's record cap holder after surpassing Lilian Thuram (142) with his 143rd international appearance.

To mark the occasion, the captain was presented with a commemorative shirt by Didier Deschamps as attention turns to the tournament's surprise package in Morocco, who became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals after stunning Portugal.

"[I am] still proud, still honoured to wear the shirt of Les Bleus, even after 143 appearances," Lloris said in a video posted on France's official Twitter account.

"I really want to thank the team, the staff, the entire management for making this game so special. Beating England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, it will remain a special memory for me, but also for my family who were present.

"Now, we'll prepare well for this semi-final against Morocco. We'll need all our strength, all our energy knowing that there's something really special we can achieve.

"I think we're all aware of this, but we'll continue to be calm and collected. But it has to come from [the stomach]."

Antoine Griezmann was also presented with a personalised shirt, his pinpoint cross for Giroud's winner against England was his record-breaking 28th assist for Les Bleus.

The Atletico Madrid forward, who believes he will soon be surpassed by Kylian Mbappe (18), urged his team-mates not to lose sight on retaining the world title for the first time since Brazil in 1962.

"Kylian only needs 10 assists to reach 28, so I'm going to enjoy this moment!" he laughed. "There are still two games left, we can do it. Let's concentrate, be focused and enjoy."

Kyle Walker will not "roll out a red carpet" for Kylian Mbappe as England prepare to face France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Mbappe is the tournament's top scorer so far with five goals in four matches, including a double in the reigning champions' 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16.

That win set up a clash in the final eight with England, giving Three Lions' manager Gareth Southgate a headache on how to best counter the threat of Mbappe.

Walker is the player many believe will be chosen to deal with the power and pace of Mbappe, with the possibility that Southgate will opt to play with a back five.

While Walker lauded Mbappe's talents, the Manchester City defender feels he is well-equipped to cope with the Paris Saint-Germain star.

"Of course I understand the focus and I understand what I need to do to stop him," Walker told reporters. "It's easier said than done but I don't underestimate myself.

"I've come up against some of the best players in the world but I have to treat it just as another game. You have to give him respect but not too much.

"I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score. It's a World Cup, it's do or die.

"I'm not going home so I'm not going to let him ruin that for my family."

Other France forwards have impressed alongside Mbappe, such as Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud, the latter of whom became Les Bleus' all-time record goalscorer with his strike against Poland, with Walker stressing the focus is not just on the PSG forward.

Walker says it is important England pay due attention to all of France's attackers, and not just Mbappe, adding: "It will be a tough game but a team cannot just be about one person.

"When we've [City] played Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, we're not just thinking of Mbappe and it's the same on Saturday. 

"He's a tool in their armoury - and a very good one - but you can't underestimate their other players.

"We know he's a great player and that's why he's the focus of all questions. But let's not forget Olivier Giroud who has scored lots of goals, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

"For me all the questions shouldn't be about him [Mbappe]. I appreciate he's a great footballer, but there are others too."

At 32-years-old, Walker is one of the older members of England's squad, with young stars such as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham playing a starring role in England's campaign so far.

Walker commended the Three Lions' new generation, reserving particular praise for Bellingham, who has lit up the tournament with his sparkling midfield displays at just 19-years-old.

"It is great for the English game," Walker declared. "As you mentioned, Jude [Bellingham] being one who has the courage to play for England that others didn't have when they were younger.

"They have no fear and they go in and express themselves. I feel the standard of players has gone up another level in this tournament."

France's appeal against the decision to disallow Antoine Griezmann's goal in last week's shock 1-0 World Cup loss to Tunisia has been dismissed by FIFA.

Griezmann thought he had cancelled out Wahbi Khazri's strike when he volleyed home in the eighth minute of stoppage time at Education City Stadium.

However, after the celebrations had died down and the whistle had sounded for full-time, referee Michael Conger ruled out Griezmann's goal for an offside infringement.

The Atletico Madrid forward was adjudged to have been offside when firing in from Aurelien Tchouameni's pass, which was helped into his path by a Tunisia defender.

But the French Football Federation (FFF) felt the officials were wrong to disallow the goal as play had briefly restarted when VAR intervened, which is prohibited.

"We are writing a complaint after Antoine Griezmann's goal was, in our opinion, wrongly disallowed," the FFF said last Wednesday. 

Should France have been successful with their appeal, the scoreline would have been changed to 1-1, though the final positions in Group D would not have altered.

However, FIFA confirmed in a statement on Monday that they will not look any further into the matter.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has dismissed the protest submitted by the French Football Association in relation to the Tunisia v France match," the statement read.

Khazri's superb strike ended reigning world champions France's nine-game unbeaten run in the competition stretching back to the 2014 quarter-finals.

Les Blues went on to beat Poland 3-1 in Sunday's last-16 tie and will now face England in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps warned France must not underestimate Poland when they meet in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday.

Les Bleus have won all five last-16 matches since the stage was introduced to the tournament back in 1986.

The holders are strong favourites to knock the Eagles out at Al Thumama Stadium this weekend in what will be the underdogs' first knockout World Cup knockout game for 36 years.

France are unbeaten in their past seven meetings with Poland, but Deschamps says there can be no complacency from his side in Doha.

"It's not a team we're used to meeting," he told FFF TV. "They have experienced players. Obviously, if there is one name to stand out, it's [Robert] Lewandowski, he's one of the best strikers in the world.

"But it's not just him, it's a team that has good organisation, a good athletic presence. We have three observers here who are following them closely, we will have all the details. Don't underestimate this team."

Deschamps rung the changes for France's final Group D match on Wednesday, which they surprisingly lost 1-0 to Tunisia.

Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Hugo Lloris, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann were among the players who dropped to the bench for that loss.

Poland will need to find a way of containing Mbappe, the joint-leading scorer in the tournament with three goals, while Giroud is one shy of becoming his country's all-time leading goalscorer as he currently stands level with Thierry Henry on 51.

The Eagles were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in their last Group C game on Wednesday but took second place.

Poland have faced the reigning champions twice in World Cup matches, beating Brazil 1-0 in 1974 and holding Germany to a goalless draw four years later.

A quarter-final showdown with England or Senegal will be the reward for whoever comes out on top.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

France - Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann continues to deliver for France time and time again. No player has created more chances than the 11 he has produced for Les Blues in this tournament.

The Atletico Madrid forward is the only player to create at least 10 chances in both this World Cup and Russia 2018 for France. He has already surpassed his total of 10 four years ago.

Poland - Wojciech Szczesny

Goalkeeper Szczesny has played a key role for Poland in Qatar, achieving a save percentage of 90. He had kept out each of his first 16 shots on target faced in the tournament prior to Alexis Mac Allister's goal for Argentina.

Szczesny saved a Lionel Messi penalty in midweek, ensuring he has stopped a spot-kick in each of his past two World Cup games. He could be in for a busy game, given France's quality going forward.

PREDICTION

While there have been shock results aplenty in this tournament, France will not be expected to slip up when they attempt to seal a place in the last eight.

Stats Perform's AI model gives the defending champions a 74.8 per cent chance of going through, with Poland at only 8.1 per cent to produce an upset.

France have filed a complaint to FIFA over the decision to disallow Antoine Griezmann's late goal in Wednesday's shock 1-0 World Cup loss to Tunisia.

Griezmann thought he had cancelled out Wahbi Khazri's strike when he volleyed home in the eighth minute of stoppage time at Education City Stadium.

However, after the celebrations had died down, referee Michael Conger ruled out Griezmann's goal for an offside infringement.

The Atletico Madrid forward was adjudged to have been offside when firing in from Aurelien Tchouameni's pass, which took a deflection off a Tunisian defender.

However, the French Football Federation (FFF) believe the officials were wrong to disallow the goal as play had already restarted when VAR intervened, which is prohibited.

"We are writing a complaint after Antoine Griezmann's goal was, in our opinion, wrongly disallowed," said a widely released statement from the FFF on Wednesday. 

"This complaint has to be filed within 24 hours after the final whistle."

Khazri's superb strike at Education City Stadium ended reigning world champions France's nine-game unbeaten run in the competition stretching back to the 2014 quarter-finals.

However, the result ultimately meant little in the context of Group D as France still went through in top spot and Australia claimed second place with a 1-0 win over Denmark.

Should France be successful with their appeal and the scoreline is changed to 1-1, the final points tallies in Group D will change but not the positions of any of the four sides.

Antoine Griezmann says he is proud to match Zinedine Zidane for assists with France, but credited their World Cup victory over Denmark as a team performance.

Kylian Mbappe's double saw the defending champions book their place in the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win, cementing top spot in Group D with a game in hand.

Griezmann supplied the crucial delivery for the forward's winner, cancelling out Andreas Christensen's earlier equaliser, to move him to 26 assists overall for his country.

That draws him level with national legend and fellow World Cup winner Zidane, but while Griezmann was delighted to match the achievement, he was quick to pay tribute to Didier Deschamps' squad as a whole.

"I am very proud of that," he told TF1. "But I insist [it is] the work of the team, [rather than] my work offensively or defensively.

"There are the stats, [if] we only look at that. But everyone made an exceptional effort tonight. It was very important to win and qualify."

Griezmann's feat draws him level with Zidane, who helped France to World Cup success on home soil in 1998.

For France, victory marked a spot of revenge too after back-to-back losses against Kasper Hjulmand's side in the Nations League, and Griezmann acknowledged their win was a hard-fought one.

"We knew it was going to be a complicated match," he added. "We lost twice in the Nations League. We did a lot of work together. Those who returned worked well too. It's a very good victory."

France will wrap up their Group D campaign against Tunisia on November 30, where they will look to ensure they claim top spot and an arguably more favourable draw for the knockout stages.

Antoine Griezmann hopes to offer "complete" performances if selected to play a more withdrawn role for France at the World Cup.

Griezmann impressed when playing behind Olivier Giroud as France won their second World Cup in 2018, with his tally of four goals in Russia only bettered by England's Harry Kane (six).

Despite Griezmann occupying a traditional striking role for Atletico Madrid, reports have suggested Didier Deschamps may deploy the 31-year-old in an advanced midfield position behind two forwards in Qatar.

While the news that Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema will miss the tournament with a thigh injury could provoke a rethink, Griezmann told Telefoot he is content to play in any position.

Asked about his role for Tuesday's Group D opener against Australia, he said: "I don't know. Otherwise, you should give me the phone number of the Australia coach and we'll give him the eleven.

"I try to be a very complete player. Whether offensively or defensively, I love getting balls back, helping my team-mates in defence. 

"For me, it's always a pleasure. No matter where I play, I try to give the maximum, to do what the team needs."

Despite nine of his 21 appearances coming from the bench, Griezmann has impressed for Atletico this season, recording six goals and four assists in all competitions.

The versatile forward was named in the World Cup Team of the Tournament four years ago, and believes he is well-placed to enjoy another positive campaign in Qatar.

"I needed a big pre-season, a good preparation," he added. "I feel I'm in great shape. I have the legs and the head is fine."

Angel Correa and Joao Felix struck to give out-of-form Atletico Madrid a 2-0 victory at fifth-tier Almazan to reach the Copa del Rey second round.

Atletico have not won in five LaLiga matches but a dominant first-half display saw Correa put them 1-0 up at the break when he took advantage of a mistake from Almazan goalkeeper Alberto Gonzalez.

Felix added a smart second after the break, beating his man before clinically firing into the back of the net to make the game safe.

Atletico consequently cruise into the next round of a competition they have won 10 times, though not since the 2012-13 season.

Correa had already tested Gonzalez by the time Marcos Llorente hit the crossbar with a bouncing effort after Antoine Griezmann's free-kick fell at this feet.

Koke's deflected shot also rattled the woodwork after more fine Griezmann work and Gonzalez made a superb stop to deny Llorente's low drive.

But Felix's long-range shot was too hot for Gonzalez to handle with Correa tapping in the rebound 10 minutes before the break.

Felix added a sublime second in the 63rd-minute, shifting onto his left foot outside the box before rifling into the bottom-right corner.

Griezmann thought he had added a third when he deftly steered home Nahuel Molina's cross, though the offside flag went up to curtail his celebrations.

Koke missed a great opportunity to round out the scoring late on, but he could only side-foot wide.

Atletico Madrid are starting to see the Antoine Griezmann of old, according to head coach Diego Simeone.

Griezmann's brace handed Atletico a 2-1 win at Real Betis on Sunday, with his first goal a bizarre effort straight from a corner that somehow found its way in.

The France international scored just three times in 26 LaLiga appearances (21 starts) last season for the Rojiblancos, and started this campaign slowly due to being mostly limited to substitute outings because of an appearance clause in his loan contract from Barcelona.

However, since the move was recently made permanent, the 31-year-old has been able to feature more and he now has five goals in 11 LaLiga games (five starts) this season.

"It seems we are seeing the Griezmann who left, who is a leader," Simeone said post-match. "We need leaders. He understands his team-mates and a good partnership is being formed."

Griezmann's two goals also put him ahead of Paco Campos as Atletico's third-top scorer of all time, with 147 now to his name.

 

Simeone, meanwhile, was pleased with the effort of his players, who moved up to third in LaLiga with the win and are now unbeaten in eight away league games, winning seven (D1).

"We found an improved attitude," he said. "When you have talent you need attitude. Attitude matters more than talent. The boys have been making a great effort."

Betis head coach Manuel Pellegrini was left frustrated, though almost saw his team draw level after substitute Nabil Fekir scored a late free-kick and Alex Moreno hit the crossbar with a header in stoppage time, but his team's run of six successive home league wins came to an end.

"I don't remember a save from Rui Silva until 1-0," he said, with Griezmann's opening goal coming from a corner resulting from Atletico's first shot on target in the 54th minute.

"Unfortunately, we lacked a little more creativity with such a closed team near their area. We had two or three opportunities in the first half. 

"In the second, already with the score against us, [Atletico] didn't have many chances... but in the end we couldn't tie it."

Antoine Griezmann scored a double, including a goal direct from a corner, as Atletico Madrid won 2-1 at Real Betis on Sunday to move up to third in LaLiga.

The visitors struggled to create chances but took the lead early in the second half when Griezmann's inswinging set-piece somehow found its way into the net, before the France international added a second following a neat move down the right.

Manuel Pellegrini will have been frustrated to lose a game in which his Betis side were arguably on top prior to falling behind, and they gave themselves hope when Nabil Fekir scored a late free-kick, but were unable to find another goal.

The win moves Diego Simeone's Atletico above Real Sociedad after their defeat at Real Valladolid on Saturday.

It was a relatively uneventful first half, though the hosts did suffer a blow when Luiz Felipe was forced off injured after just 20 minutes, replaced by Victor Ruiz.

Borja Iglesias hit a hopeful shot at Jan Oblak's near post five minutes before the break to record the first effort on target of the game. The ball was then in the Atletico net two minutes after the restart when Henrique fired a shot into the top right corner of the net from the edge of the box, but a VAR check found Iglesias to have been offside in the build-up.

Salt was firmly rubbed into the wounds in the 54th minute when the corner from Griezmann made its way through a crowd, with German Pezzella unable to keep it out at the far post.

If that goal was fortunate, the second was well-earned as a move featuring Nahuel Molina, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha ended with the Brazilian finding Griezmann, who ran through and prodded the ball beneath Rui Silva in the Betis goal.

Substitute Fekir curled a beautiful free-kick into the top-left corner of Oblak's goal to provide late drama, but Atletico were able to hold on for three points.

Radamel Falcao's 92nd-minute penalty frustrated former club Atletico Madrid as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday.

Atletico looked to be on course for a fourth straight LaLiga win after Alvaro Morata netted a first-time finish from their only shot on target of the opening 45 minutes.

Diego Simeone's men protected that advantage until the final seconds of normal time, when Jose Gimenez handled and then, following a short delay, Falcao netted from the spot.

A point at home leaves Atletico still third, but they lost further ground on champions and leaders Real Madrid, who are five points better off with a game in hand.

Atletico were ahead within 20 minutes, Antoine Griezmann winning the ball high up the pitch before delivering an inch-perfect cross to Morata, who exquisitely swept past Stole Dimitrievski.

Axel Witsel then dragged a shot wide of the left post as Simeone's side looked to add a quick second, but Rayo improved as the half continued, and Ivan Balliu stung the palms of Ivo Grbic with a fierce drive before the break.

Pathe Ciss had a decent chance to level soon after the interval but could only head wide, before Morata nodded off target at the other end.

Sergio Camello sent a low effort agonisingly past the right post as Rayo pushed for an equaliser, and it appeared as though Grbic's save from Falcao when one-on-one would deny the visitors.

However, Gimenez handled from Randy Nteka's header with time almost up, allowing Falcao to snatch a point against his old side.

Antoine Griezmann apologised to Atletico Madrid fans for the "damage" he may have done when initially leaving the club for Barcelona in 2019.

Griezmann joined Barca in 2019 when the Catalans triggered his €120million release clause, ending a long courtship by the Blaugrana.

Barca had been heavily linked with Griezmann in 2018, but the player opted to remain with Atletico, making his announcement in a documentary called 'La Decision'.

Although Griezmann stayed then, many Atletico fans were frustrated by his conduct, with the documentary – echoing his NBA hero LeBron James' 'The Decision' – seen by some as an unnecessary sideshow that stoked speculation.

The France forward ended up joining Barca the following year, but his spell at Camp Nou was generally underwhelming, and he returned to Atletico last season on loan, a deal that was made permanent on Monday.

In his first LaLiga game since signing a permanent deal with Atletico, Griezmann scored the winner in a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao to take his league tally for the club to 100, and afterwards he felt it necessary to offer an olive branch to supporters.

"In the end, I want to apologise," he said.

"I know that people want to hear it from my mouth: I apologise for the damage I may have done to fans.

"But the greatest forgiveness I want to ask for is on the pitch, giving everything for the team and with [games] like this."

Atletico completed the signing of Griezmann after opting to tread carefully with the amount of minutes he was being given earlier this season.

According to reports, Atletico would have been obliged to pay €40m for Griezmann if he had played more than 30 minutes in a certain percentage of their games.

As such, Diego Simeone routinely brought Griezmann on after the 60th minute, and in the end that tactic seemingly forced Barca to accept a significantly reduced deal apparently worth just under €20m.

"Personally, it was complicated, but I tried not to show it," Griezmann said of the contractual quirk.

"I know I was playing for a coach I love very much and some team-mates who deserve the best of me.

"If I have to play, I give 100 per cent, and if I don't [play], I encourage my team-mates. Then, when I come on, I try to make a difference."

Diego Simeone was delighted to see Atletico Madrid's trademark resilience come to the fore in a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, declaring 'the team's work continues to excite me'.

Antoine Griezmann's second-half goal – his 100th strike for Atletico in LaLiga – ensured Los Colchoneros leapfrogged Athletic into third place in the early season standings on Saturday.

Discounting Alvaro Morata's disallowed opener, Atletico failed to manage a single attempt prior to Griezmann's 47th-minute goal, and they recorded just three shots throughout the game – their lowest tally of the league season.

Atletico came under pressure late on and were indebted to substitute goalkeeper Ivo Grbic for making a flying save from Inigo Martinez's header, but Simeone always felt they were in control.

"It was seen what we came to try to do. We were undoubtedly facing one of the best teams in LaLiga and I think we were able to take the game to where we felt better," Simeone said.

"The most difficult thing in the game is to control the game, and that doesn't mean only with the ball, but also the positional game. 

 

"In the second half, the goal came with a very nice play and great definition. Today we had the forcefulness and it generates optimism for the rest of the match. 

"The team's work continues to excite me, it's been 11 years here."

Atletico have now won three successive league games for the first time since April, and trail Barcelona and Real Madrid by just three points ahead of the duo's Clasico meeting on Sunday.

Simeone has faced criticism for a perceived lack of progression this season, but he believes his team are on track, adding: "I think we're gaining mettle in a championship with a large number of games. 

"It's hard to please all the boys, they all want to play, they have the World Cup close and it's hard when they don't see themselves in the starting 11. 

"We are going to count on everyone, it is impossible to play every three days with the same ones. Hopefully they feel proud of what they do, because winning in this field is not easy."

Antoine Griezmann fired Atletico Madrid to a valuable 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday and reached 100 LaLiga goals for the club in the process.

Atletico announced on Monday that Griezmann's loan return from Barcelona would be made permanent, and the France forward marked his first league appearance since with a composed second-half finish.

Alvaro Morata had earlier been denied an opener by a VAR review, but Griezmann's effort proved enough for coach Diego Simeone's men during a typically disciplined display. Athletic rightly had a late penalty award overturned.

The victory sees Atletico leapfrog their hosts into third place in LaLiga, trailing Barcelona and Real Madrid by three points ahead of Sunday's Clasico.

Inaki Williams headed over the crossbar when left unmarked from an early free-kick, and only a VAR review prevented Athletic from being punished for that miss after 10 minutes.

Morata appeared to have taken advantage of a slip from Yeray Alvarez before rounding Unai Simon to score, but on second viewing the referee ruled the Spain striker was guilty of a foul, much to Atletico's frustration.

Simeone's visitors failed to register a single shot between Morata's disallowed strike and half-time, but they hit the front within two minutes of the restart when Griezmann side-footed Morata's cut-back into the bottom-right corner.

Griezmann then miscued a volley after finding space at the back post, before injured goalkeeper Jan Oblak was replaced by Ivo Grbic in an apparent blow to Atletico's hopes.

Atleti were indebted to their substitute goalkeeper, however, when he made a spectacular save from Inigo Martinez's header. The visitors then survived late drama when a penalty was awarded for handball against Reinildo, with a VAR check showing the referee called that incorrectly, the ball having struck the defender's face.

Atletico Madrid have confirmed the permanent signing of Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona, with the forward signing a deal that runs through until June 2026.

Griezmann returned to Atleti on a two-year loan deal at the start of last season after a couple of relatively underwhelming campaigns at Camp Nou.

Diego Simeone's side reportedly had an obligation to pay Barcelona €40million if Griezmann played a certain number of minutes, which has restricted his playing time this term.

The France international has appeared in all eight of his side's LaLiga games, but he has played 30 minutes or under in six of those contests.

However, Atletico announced on their official website on Monday that an agreement has been reached for Griezmann to officially become their player again.

Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany said on Sunday that Atleti would pay just under €20m for the 31-year-old.

Griezmann is into his seventh season as an Atletico player across two spells and has made 403 appearances for the club, scoring 144 times in all competitions.

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