PARIS: The present French side can avenge the painful defeats of their predecessors in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup semi-finals when they face Germany in Friday’s quarter-final, said Maxime Bossis, who played in both of those games.
Bossis, who in between those two losses was an integral part of the French side that won the 1984 European Championship at home, in particular wants revenge for the traumatic defeat in the 1982 finals in Seville.
The game is regarded as among one of the greatest ever at a World Cup finals.
The flair-filled French side -- with the magical midfield of Michel Platini, Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana -- had seen the Germans storm back to force a penalty shootout after trailing 3-1 in extra-time.
Bossis, one of the pillars of the defence, stepped up to take the fifth of France’s penalties with it locked at 4-4 but saw his effort saved by the villain of the match Harald ‘Toni’ Schumacher. Schumacher was fortunate to be on the pitch after he knocked out Patrick Battiston -- who lost several teeth, cracked ribs and damaged vertebrae -- in the first-half with a shoulder charge, but the offence was not seen by the Dutch referee Charles Corver who claimed afterwards he ‘was following the ball’.
Bossis sank to his knees in despair after his penalty miss and that feeling was compounded moments later as Horst Hrubesch powered home his penalty to give the Germans victory.
Now with the present French side set to face the Germans after they beat Nigeria and Algeria respectively on Monday Bossis has only one thought on his mind.
“I will watch it with revenge on my mind,” the 76-times capped Bossis told Le Parisien newspaper on Tuesday. “I want to tell Deschamps’(French coach Didier Deschamps) men: ‘Avenge Seville’.
“For me too the frustration extends to the 1986 match which we also lost to the Germans (2-0 in Mexico).
“These defeats are memories for my generation. People talk to me about those on a regular basis. It doesn’t do much good to compare the two eras but I will be urging on the French to reach the semi-finals while remembering my failures against Germany.”
However, 59-year-old Bossis’ thoughts of revenge are not shared by 1982 team-mate Marius Tresor, who scored with a superb volley in extra-time and whose celebration was as memorable.
“This is their (Deschamps squad) story, not ours,” the 64-year-old told Le Parisien
“A lot of them were not even born when the match was played (only reserve goalkeeper Mickael Landreau and defender Patrice Evra were born by then).
“Our chance for revenge was in 1986 (Tresor was no longer part of the team) and the guys slipped up. These guys should not have to bear the weight of history on their shoulders which does not have anything to do with them.”