Nasri salutes French spirit
Playmaker delighted with Ukraine performance
By Patrick Haond. Last Updated: June 16, 2012 4:00pm
Samir Nasri: Believes France are in good shape at Euro 2012
Samir Nasri claims France played without fear during their 2-0 victory over the Ukraine and showed that they have the 'heart' to take on a challenge.
Les Bleus lined up against the Euro 2012 co-hosts on Friday knowing that the vast majority of those in attendance were against them, and that many of those watching on from afar were waiting for them to slip up.
A side forged by World Cup winner Laurent Blanc appears to have learnt from the mistakes of the past, though, and there has been no indication that the self-destruct button will be pressed - as has been the case at recent tournaments.
Instead, France have embarked on an impressive 23-match unbeaten run and appear to be heading for the knockout stage of this summer's European Championship.
Victory over Ukraine edged them closer to a quarter-final place and Nasri believes they were full value for a convincing success.
"We really had a different mindset to the first game," said the Manchester City playmaker.
"Ukraine were prevented from playing. There could have been 200,000 Ukrainian fans in the stadium, we wanted to win this game so much that it would have happened anyway.
"We had the heart to win this game, the opposite of what we did against England (in a 1-1 draw)."
Topping Group D is now the target for France, with it likely that a runners-up spot would see them pitched against reigning European and world champions Spain in the last eight.
Nasri is reluctant to speculate on what the future may hold, but acknowledges that you have to beat the best at some stage if you are to take the title.
He added: "We want to qualify. Whether we play Spain or not in the quarter-finals, it will be hard.
"If you want to excel in this tournament you will have to play and beat the Spaniards and other big teams."