France left-back Lucas Hernandez says that he used some over-the-top theatrics during France’s 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday to waste time.
“As we saw against Australia, there are moments where I exaggerate a bit,” Hernandez said on Sunday (h/t ESPN FC). “It is part of the show, part of the game, [and] I am used to doing it.
“It helps the team to buy some time. I do it from time to time. It is a part of me.”
Hernandez said he has been encouraged to use his temper and passion by Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone.
“I have always been like this,” Hernandez said. “I learned over 11 years with Atletico and I am still trying to improve.
“I have already been working with it alongside Diego for four years. It is a strong point of mine. It is up to me to keep it going and not let up in each match.”
“Honestly, I always prepare in the same way,” Hernandez said. “I am a quiet player. When I take to the pitch, I know what my objective is — get involved, tackle and be physical.
“I am a very aggressive player, regardless of whether it is a World Cup match or a friendly. It is my state of mind. I am ready from the first minute.”
Hernandez said he wants to show coach Didier Deschamps that he is reliable, and can be trusted in big matches.
“As I always say, I do my job,” Hernandez said. “The most important thing is that the coach is able to count on me. I try to give everything.”