Former France captain Marcel Desailly is confident Les Bleus can claim their second World Cup title on Sunday.
Desailly, who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 before retiring in July 2004, has been impressed by the performances of Raymond Domenech’s men since their 2-0 victory over Togo in their last group phase match on June 23.
France stunned Spain 3-1 in the second round on Tuesday before edging out defending champions Brazil 1-0 in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
They will now face a semi-final showdown with Portugal, who ousted England in a penalty shoot-out.
“After overcoming a difficult situation against Togo, France freed themselves from the pressure and the victory over Spain was like a revelation,” Desailly told www.lequipe.fr.
“We all knew that France had good players but now they are working as a team. They are well-organised and got that extra bit of luck too.
“They’ve showed a great spirit and an irreproachable attitude. They are united and faithful to their tactics which allowed them to reach a superior and winning level.”
Desailly has also paid tribute to Domenech, who has been the subject of much criticism in the build-up to the World Cup.
“He is very smart because he never changed his style despite all the complaints about Henry’s isolation up front,” he added.
“In the end it was Henry who scored against Brazil.”
Zinedine Zidane has also played a key role, and was in exceptional form against Brazil. Desailly believes the key to the veteran's performances is his imminent retirement after the tournament.
“He knows this is the end of his career,” the former Chelsea player said, “He wants to prove he is the best player in the world.”