Platini ´very happy´ as France move to brink of World Cup trophy defence

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Michel Platini is feeling a sense of “pride” at seeing France in another World Cup final and is firmly behind Les Bleus on their march towards history, his lawyer has said.

Although he was a European Championship winner with France in 1984, the golden generation to which Platini belonged could not add global glory to that title.

They stalled in the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, losing out to West Germany both times.

Platini was an organising committee chief when France won the World Cup on home soil in 1998, but by the time of their triumph at Russia 2018 he was serving a ban from football over ethics violations during his time as UEFA president.

Now 67, Platini has recently kept a mostly low profile.

His lawyer, Najwa El Haite, said Platini remained engrossed in France’s footballing fortunes.

“He is of course closely following the performance of the France team,” she told French broadcaster BFMTV.

“There is a pride, he was very happy yesterday.

“He is not on social networks, he does not communicate, but he is present and fully supports the France team.”

France are bidding to become the first team since Brazil in 1958 and 1962 to win consecutive editions of the World Cup.

El Haite is a French-Moroccan citizen, and she may have had split loyalties for Wednesday’s semi-final as France beat Morocco 2-0 to set up a clash with Argentina for the trophy on Sunday.

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She explained how Platini had also been charmed by the Atlas Lions during their surprising run, which saw them become the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final.

“A few days ago, he called me, when Morocco were playing against Portugal. I was honoured that he called me to tell me, ‘The Moroccan team played well, congratulations to them’,” El Haite said.

“This morning, he sent me a message saying, ‘They lost but they played well, I will support them on Saturday [in the third-place game] against Croatia’.”