Allofs, Battiston on Germany-France and each other

Former Bordeaux team-mates Klaus Allofs and Patrick Battiston, EURO winners in 1980 and 1984 with Germany and France respectively, discuss Thursday's semi-final in Marseille.

Patrick Battiston (France)

EURO2016.com: What type of game can we expect at Stade Vélodrome?

Klaus Allofs: It's always special when you play the hosts. It's certainly no easy task. On top of that, France will be very confident following their big win over Iceland. Nevertheless, I back our boys to progress because so far they've shown they are the best team at the tournament. There is the small question of how we will deal with the missing players, though.

Patrick Battiston: At this level, when the final is so near, you can't give too much away. Both teams will leave little space. This game will look more like Germany-Italy than France-Iceland. Even though it will be a very balanced match, I think France have a big chance to beat Germany.

EURO2016.com: What are your memories of your season together in Bordeaux, in 1989/90?

Allofs: I remember it being a wonderful year for my family and for me personally. I had a great time there. The area is lovely and the city is mad about football, plus I was made to feel very welcome right from the start.

Patrick Battiston was the captain back then and he was one of the reasons I settled so easily. I can vividly remember him being very quick to help me find a flat. All in all, there was a very friendly atmosphere and the team had some great players too, particularly Patrick. It was great fun playing alongside him.

Battiston: I remember Allofs as an amazing man and a top-quality player – a very good person. We did great things with Bordeaux. That was extraordinary, really. Klaus Allofs (West Geramany) Klaus Allofs, pictured in 1980©Getty Images

EURO2016.com: Who has impressed you in this Germany team?

Allofs: Being part of the Wolfsburg management team, I have to say Julian Draxler. Maybe that's not exactly unbiased, but Julian has certainly met our expectations and those the coaches at Wolfsburg set him because we know what a good player he is. He has perhaps been the surprise in the team.

Battiston: We know they all have great qualities. Neuer, Hummels and Gomez, who modified Germany's playing style when he got back into the side. I would also single out Joshua Kimmich. He was playing in the second division in 2015 and the year before in the third tier. He has improved a lot at Bayern and is confirming this in the national team. In Munich, he plays as a centre-half even though he is 1.76m-tall.

EURO2016.com: And for France: which French player would you have in the Germany side, Klaus?

Watch classic semi-finals featuring France and Germany
Watch classic EURO semi-finals featuring France and Germany

Allofs: It has to be Antoine Griezmann, who scores goals. However, he's not the striker Germany need as an alternative to Mario Gomez. We have a number of good players in Griezmann's position. Someone like Giroud could play up front, then there's the goal threat of Payet and of course Pogba.

Battiston: Olivier Giroud – he is performing really well. I like Moussa Sissoko too. Besides that, certain other players have confirmed their value, like Dimitri Payet. Above all, I must highlight how the team have improved and how all the players have gelled.

EURO2016.com: A standout memory from 1984, Patrick?

Battiston: There are so many. Take the game against Belgium [which France won 5-0 in the group stage]. We have a free-kick. There is no question who will take it. Michel Platini puts the ball down. I stand close to him in case he wants me to touch it first to put him in a better position. He says nothing. He will stroke it into the top corner. He goes to take it and ... passes to me. An absolute surprise. I take one step and smash it against the crossbar. He follows up and scores a header. Amazing.

EURO2016.com: Klaus, what were the key factors behind Germany's 2-0 win against a France side featuring Battiston in the 1986 FIFA World Cup?

Allofs: Without wanting to heap too much praise on us, we were simply the better team on the day. The first goal came from an Andreas Brehme free-kick, and I can remember the second very well. It was a counterattack. I played the ball to Rudi Völler, who then took on the goalkeeper on his own.

We had a very good team. Not that the French didn't, but we were in very good shape physically, despite it being a World Cup influenced by the climate. We dealt with the conditions well, or perhaps you could say better than our opponents did.