Yoann Gourcuff says France coach Didier Deschamps asked him to track Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo during their victory on Wednesday night.
The Olympique Lyonnais man usually operates in an offensive position, but was pleased with his latest role in a ploy to foil the playmaking threat of the Azzurri veteran.
"The coach asked me to cover Pirlo because he is so important for the Italians," he told Le Equipe.
"I had to stay on Pirlo and help out defensively. I am happy with my display and I am glad we won. It was a great match.
"It is not easy to come here and play the runners-up from Euro 2012, but we did very well."
Gourcuff was brought on in place of Mathieu Valbuena after 72 minutes of play and in doing so made his 29th appearance for the national side.