Malouda: Don't react
Florent Malouda does not want his French team-mates to fall into the same trap as Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final.
By Steven Morrison
Last Updated: 06/09/07 4:20pm
France midfielder Florent Malouda has warned his team-mates not to react to any provocation in Saturday's Euro 2008 clash with Italy.
The game is a repeat of the 2006 World Cup final when Zinedine Zidane was infamously sent off in extra-time after being provoked by Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
And Malouda, who was booked in the same match, has told his countrymen not to rise to the Italian players this time around.
"The goal is not to provoke your opponent but that is part of the game now," he said. "The most important thing is how you react to provocation. We will have to be mentally strong."
France currently lead the qualifying group, with Italy two points behind them, and even though coach Raymond Domenech has played down the importance of the game, Malouda says Les Bleus will go to Milan to win.
Win the game
"Italy are tactically strong, we will have to anticipate and we will have to be careful not to let them dictate the play," he said.
"Going there for a draw is not part of France's philosophy. So we will play with clarity and commitment."