Sis­soko wait­ing for France call

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Moussa Sis­soko is rarely the first name on Di­dier Deschamps’ team sheet, but could get a start­ing place for France against Ger­many in the Euro 2016 semi­fi­nal today.

Sis­soko, who will de­cide on his fu­ture with New­cas­tle United af­ter the tour­na­ment, does not com­plain about be­ing a bit-part player in Deschamps’ set-up.

“Just be­ing here is huge for me. When I was a kid my dream was to play pro­fes­sional foot­ball and to play for France,” he said.

“I’ve achieved my dream. That gives me strength, and I try to give ev­ery­thing back to the team when I play.”

France will today look to end a 58-year wait to beat Ger­many at a ma­jor fi­nals, hav­ing last tri­umphed 6-3 in the match for third place at the 1958 World Cup in Swe­den.

And with a place in the July 10 fi­nal at stake, Deschamps has a de­ci­sion to make.

The last time France suf­fered de­feat when Sis­soko started a game was a 1-0 friendly de­feat to Ja­pan in Oc­to­ber 2012 in Paris.

But at Euro 2016, the France coach has used his su­per­sub mid­fielder spar­ingly.

In France’s open­ing win over Ro­ma­nia, Sis­soko started on the bench as Deschamps de­ployed a 4-3-3 with N’Golo Kante, Blaise Ma­tu­idi and Paul Pogba op­er­at­ing in mid­field.

Amid con­cerns over his at­tack, Deschamps then tweaked his for­ma­tion to a 4-2-3-1 for a last-gasp 2-0 win over Al­ba­nia, when Kante and Ma­tu­idi played as hold­ing mid­field­ers.

Sis­soko was given his first start of the tour­na­ment in a three-man mid­field along­side Yo­han Cabaye and Pogba as France eked out a score­less draw with Switzer­land.

It earned them top spot in the group and main­tained France’s record of go­ing un­beaten when Sis­soko starts a game.

Against the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Deschamps switched back to Pogba, Kante and Ma­tu­idi. Sis­soko made only mak­ing a last-gasp ap­pear­ance for Kings­ley Co­man.

It took un­til France’s clash with Eng­land’s con­querors Ice­land for Sis­soko to re­turn to the fray.

And again, France fans were not dis­ap­pointed. With Sis­soko play­ing on the right side of a three-man mid­field in a 4-2-31, France for­wards An­toine Griez­mann and Olivier Giroud were brought closer to­gether - and the ef­fect was sen­sa­tional.

Moussa Sis­soko (L) of France in ac­tion against Eliseu (R) of Por­tu­gal dur­ing an in­ter­na­tional friendly be­tween France and Por­tu­gal

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