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Marichaud and Mateo: France not finished yet

Captain Julie Marichaud and Clara Mateo underlined France's determination to get back on track against Germany, retraced their first steps in football and discussed role models.

Julie Marichaud (right) and Clara Mateo after their interview with UEFA.com
Julie Marichaud (right) and Clara Mateo after their interview with UEFA.com ©Sportsfile

Eager to atone for their opening Group B defeat by Spain, captain Julie Marichaud and midfielder Clara Mateo spoke passionately to UEFA.com about the areas in which Les Bleuettes need to improve.

Marichaud is braced for an even sterner examination of her side's resolve on Friday against three-time UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship winners Germany, who she expects to provide a "very physical" encounter in Telford.

The prospect of going home early is "not even an option" for the 16-year-old centre-back, meanwhile. The likes of Andrea Pirlo, Wendy Renard and Yohan Cabaye also came into conversation as both players discussed role models and retraced their first steps in football. 

UEFA.com: How much are you enjoying the finals?

Julie Marichaud: It was a great achievement to make it to the finals of a European Championship in the first place. It's always very pleasing to participate in such tournaments and now we're going to do all we can to go as far as possible. Even though we started poorly, there are still two games left and we want to win them both in order to prove that France have come here not just to take part.

Clara Mateo: It's great to be here [at St George's Park] in these surroundings, which give us the best opportunity to go as far as possible. Everyone is trying to make the most of being here.

UEFA.com: What did you take from the Spain match?

France captain Julie Marichaud
France captain Julie Marichaud©Sportsfile

Marichaud: We learn from defeats. We did not apply ourselves, we were not as aggressive as we can be, and sadly Spain were better than us. Now we have Germany; everyone is really focused for the final two games and determined to prove that we are here to compete. We can get better, be more aggressive and improve technically and also tactically. We need to communicate more and encourage one another. 

UEFA.com: How tough will Germany be?

Marichaud: It's going to be even more difficult [than the Spain match] because Germany are physically strong. I imagine it's going to be a very physical game. If we can show the same level of application as we have done in the past, which disappointingly we didn't do against Spain, then we can get a result. We will give everything to win the match.

UEFA.com: When did you both get into football?

Marichaud: I started playing because my brother played football when he was younger. I also had some friends who played too, so I wanted to give it a go. I really enjoyed it and proof of that is the fact I'm playing for France. Now I want to carry on and progress as far as possible.

Mateo: I first started playing at school in the playground, where I used to watch people playing football. I wanted to join in and I've never looked back from that moment.

UEFA.com: Who do you look up to?

Marichaud: I like [Paul] Pogba a lot, I like [Andrea] Pirlo, and among the women, I like Wendy Renard, who I think is a good player and a role model for me because she plays in the same position – it's important to have such an idol.

France midfielder Clara Mateo
France midfielder Clara Mateo©Sportsfile

Mateo: I have plenty of idols, but I particularly like Yohan Cabaye because he has an excellent range of passing and he's a really great player. 

UEFA.com: What do you enjoy most about playing football?

Marichaud: The thing I like most is winning. Winning in big tournaments, in the French league or in European Championships. It fills you with pride and it's always really pleasing to win.

Mateo: Of course, I also enjoy winning, but the pleasure of playing and working for each other is also satisfying.

UEFA.com What's the atmosphere like in the camp?

Marichaud: We all get on really well and the atmosphere is great, and we want to stay here until the end. We don't want to be going home on the third [of December]. That's not even an option for us.