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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
BBC experts on France
Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane
Vieira and Zidane will contest a second World Cup final
France deserved to reach the World Cup final after beating Portugal in the Munich semi-final says French World Cup legend Marcel Desailly.

"Tactically and physically we weren't sure we could repeat the Brazil performance," Desailly told BBC Sport.

"France controlled the game. I'm so pleased and proud. For the second time France are in the World Cup final.

"This group brings experience and Italy will be under pressure as they know France will be a difficult team."

Desailly was a key member of France's 1998 World Cup winning team, though the central defender was sent off in the 3-0 win over Brazil in the final at the Stade de France.

France deserved to arrive in the final


"Nobody expected France to reach the final before the tournament started - for sure we will win the final," added Desailly.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea defender praised the performance of Portugal winger Ronaldo, who was booed every time he touched the ball.

"He is a great player," said Desailly. "The way he touches the ball, the way he wants the ball all the time. I love that type of player.

"I feel sorry for him and happy for France."

Brazilian World Cup legend Leonardo also believed France deserved to reach the final in Berlin where they will meet Italy on Sunday.

"Portugal's midfield was weak and there was no pressure in attack," said Leonardo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994.

"At the end of the match they tried a little bit more with Luis Figo, Helder Postiga and Simao Sabrosa and Ronaldo.

"But France were the better team and they managed the result in the second half.

"France deserved to arrive in the final - France deserved to win."

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