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May 21, 2012

Girard: Win good for French football

Montpellier manager Rene Girard has paid tribute to his title winning side, stating that their victory in the Ligue 1 title race is positive for French football.

• Europe's winners and losers in 2011-12

Girard guided Montpellier to a 3-point margin over second placed Paris Saint-Germain, despite the massive financial disparity between the two sides, and believes their victory shows what can be achieved.

Montpellier clinched the title on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Auxerre, in a game disrupted by fan troubles.

"I think our triumph is a real shot in the arm for French football. It just goes to show that everyone can beat everyone and that money isn't the be-all and end-all," Girard told FIFA's official website.

"We're a club of mates, a club that brings young players through and gives them a chance. At the end of the day, it's worked out well for us. We played some great football, with a well-balanced team and I'm overwhelmed.

"I was worried because you never know how a match will finish after two interruptions," Girard continued. "I could see that [Montpellier president Louis Nicollin] was getting pretty stressed. With five minutes to go, I said, 'relax, think positively', and two minutes later he says: 'OK, I think we're going to do it!'

"He's going to realise just what an incredible moment this is for Montpellier football. If I could give him one gift in the whole world, winning this would be the most beautiful of them all! It was the crowning moment of the season. I'm so proud of my players who have produced a remarkable season. We played well, scored a lot of goals, didn't concede many...We deserved to go all the way."

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