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Kolo Muani on France's pride, spirit and confidence for Spain challenge

France forward Randal Kolo Muani spoke to EURO2024.com about the togetherness of Les Bleus and how they are "not scared of anyone".

Randal Kolo Muani praised the united France team ahead of their semi-final with Spain
Randal Kolo Muani praised the united France team ahead of their semi-final with Spain AFP via Getty Images

Victory against Portugal on Friday night was a monumental occasion for France. With the quarter-final goalless after 90 minutes, those of a French persuasion will have been inclined to expect the worst. After all, Les Bleus had lost on each of the three previous occasions a major competition knockout tie had gone to extra time.

But fortune favours the brave, and courage was the common denominator as Didier Deschamps' men rifled in their respective spot kicks. A 100% conversion rate sealed the side's first penalty shoot-out victory since the quarter-final of the 1998 World Cup. They may have not hit their best on the way this stage of the competition but with a first shoot-out win in 26 years and a potential EURO final on 14 July (Bastille Day), whisper it quietly, the omens are positive.

Latest: Spain vs France

However much he might not want to admit it, France would not be here were it not for Randal Kolo Muani. His introduction in the 62nd minute of their last-16 game with Belgium changed the complexion of the tie, and it was ultimately his deflected strike off Jan Vertonghen that gave his side victory.

EURO2024.com sat down with the Paris forward, who previewed their upcoming semi-final against a Spain side who promise to be Les Bleus' biggest test so far in Munich on Tuesday evening.

Dembélé on 'thrilling' France win

How do you analyse that thrilling victory against Portugal?

It feels good to reach the semi-finals and we're very proud of the match we played. We were strong defensively and even though we weren't able to score that goal, we kept going until the end and we did brilliantly in the penalty shoot-out.

You had to show a lot of character once again. How big a strength is that in this French team?

Character has always been our strength; we're all strong and very confident. We stick together and that's very important for us. That is what will take us deep into this tournament.

How do you explain the success of this almost impenetrable defence?

We all defend together, fight together and give everything for each other, which is the way it's been since the beginning of the tournament. That's the key to our success.

France wouldn't be here without your decisive cameo against Belgium; how much confidence did you gain from that?

It is thanks to everyone, not just me coming on to play. It is the mindset of the group, we played a great match. I just tried to bring some freshness and the group helped me to score the goal. We won together.

What do you make of this Spain side?

They are a very good team; it is going to be a very good match. We'll be ready; the whole team will be ready. We're not scared of anyone; we are very confident and solid. We know that they have qualities but we are a very close-knit group. That will see us through.

Deschamps: 'It could have gone either way'

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