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By ESPN Staff

Sagnol jumps to France's defence

France full-back Willy Sagnol has hit back at criticism that World Cup finalists France and Italy have built their success on defensive football.

Sagnol was responding to critics including French legend Michel Platini.

'If you watch football closely you can only applaud France and Italy,' Sagnol said.

'The supporters might want more action but those who truly watch appreciate it.'

Asked about Platini's criticisms, Sagnol said: 'He (Platini) was a number 10 when football was different and the team has evolved.

'In the same way Brazil have changed from 40 years ago, France played more attacking football in 1986 but nowadays the team goes further.'