Florent Malouda admitted relief after France stuttered to a 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina to qualify for the Euror2012 finals last night.
Les Bleus managed to score a 78th-minute leveler from the penalty spot via Samir Nasri, who canceled out Manchester City teammates Edin Dzeko’s opener, with the draw leaving the French on top of the Group D table.
Chelsea’s Malouda said it was a nice feeling to not have to navigate play-offs again after the near debacle prior to the 2010 World Cup and also revealed there was a good feeling in the France dressing room as the players felt a great amount of pressure lifted from their shoulders.
“It is a feeling of relief after yesterday's game,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“It was a strange scenario, we had a home game and needed one point but we were losing 1-0 and looking at it it's now a big relief to be qualified without having to go to the play-offs.
“Last time we had to against Ireland and there was controversy so it's good. To be qualified in this way with a young team is a big pleasure.”
He added: “The atmosphere was good after we qualified, we celebrated a bit on the pitch, sharing with the public because we were coming from a very bad situation in the World Cup, so we have to put things back in order, and we were very happy.
“We are finally there and can now focus on the draw and the proper competition. We have a friendly in November instead of the play-offs so everyone is very happy.
“When you play for France it is like playing for England. There are always great expectations, and people are happy because we are qualified but we still want to go there and play to win the trophy.
“Looking at individuals in our squad we all play in big clubs and want to win trophies there, so it is normal to want the same in the national team.”