"The players have such big hearts" - Xavier Rivoire looks ahead to the host nation's clash with Ireland

Speaking on Off The Ball, French football expert Rivoire discussed Ireland's victory and the threat they can pose to France

Robbie Keane insists that Ireland won't be using the memory of 2009 to fuel their performance against France in the last 16 of the European Championships on Sunday afternoon.

Thierry Henry's infamous handball proved pivotal in beating Giovanni Trapattoni's side in Paris seven years ago.

Speaking on Off The Ball however, French journalist Xavier Rivoire discussed the magnitude of Ireland's victory over Italy and the threat they'll pose to France in the knockout stages.

"Certainly the French would have liked to have faced Northern Ireland," he explained, "They know that the players on the Rpeublic of Ireland have such big hearts.

"But not only this, but the way most of them played last night. Hendrick, McCarthy, Murphy, McClean and of course Brady, Ireland have such a strong unit."

He also acknowledged how important the support of the Irish fans have been during the games and praised their conduct over the course of the tournament.

"I was on the streets of Lille last night and your supporters were pure joy. The way they behaved and mingled with the population. The way they sang and drank, everything was just perfect. You have had the best supporters of the tournament by far. You should be proud of this. 

"From a French perspective, I can tell you we have loved the way you have conducted yourself in this country."