They were comfortably the best team at Russia 2018 and fans throughout Europe will be on the lookout for France when Euro 2020 kicks off in the summer.
Didier Deschamps side played the best football in Russia, with world-class players running right through the squad; but it will be the flamboyance, pace and ruthlessness of Les Bleus attack that most fans, and opponents, will remember.
The last time France won the World Cup, in 1998, they followed that with a European Championship triumph two years later so what price them repeating that feat this year? Well the latest Euro 2020 prediction here at SBOTOP have the World Champions third favourites, but there is very little to choose between the front runners.
With the playoffs still to come we don’t yet have the full list of nations, but France is in a group of eight or nine potential winners. They have won this tournament twice, the first time in 1984, and Les Bleus are sure to be in the mix again.
Deschamps the legend
France won the World Cup for the second time in 2018 with a 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow. And head coach Didier Deschamps became the third man to win the competition as a player and coach, having captained Les Bleus to victory on home soil in 1998.
As a cultured midfielder Deschamps was the heartbeat of that side and the group of players he now coaches exudes class in the image of the 1998 World Champions.
Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian MBappe were all on target in the World Cup final and, injuries permitting, will all be on the European stage in just over three months time.
M’Bappe could be the best in the world
Kylian Mbappe wowed fans in Russia with his scintillating pace, lightning-quick feet and ability to score goals of any type, the tap-in, the slide rule finish and the thunderbolt.
The 21-year-old Paris Saint Germain striker is sure to be in the Euro 2020 news over the summer and with 13 international goals already to his name, he could be the man to catch the current France top scorer, Thierry Henry, who finished with 51.
That’s if Antoine Griezmann doesn’t get there first. The former Atletico Madrid striker has settled into life at Barcelona and scored a crucial away goal in the Blaugrana’s 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Champions League.
And at 28 years of age with 30 goals for France, he is well in the hunt too. And look out for FC Bayern’s Kingsley Coman, who could also make a big impact.
Behind the strikers N’Golo Kante runs the midfield, Raphael Varane leads the defence and Captain Hugo Lloris is the man between the sticks.
Les Bleus will take some beating.
Which teams are the biggest threats?
So who are the teams most likely to frustrate France?
Gareth Southgate’s Lions came very close in Russia, losing in the semi-final to Croatia having led thanks to a Kieran Trippier free-kick. They are the favourites to win Euro 2020 but much will depend on the fitness of their captain and main striker Harry Kane, who is out of action with a long term injury. The Spurs man won the Golden Boot in Russia and is very capable of repeating that in 2020.
While Southgate has an exciting young squad, with the likes of Raheem Sterling able to rip any defence apart, they really need their captain to be fully fit.
Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils are the only side ahead of Les Bleus in the FIFA World Rankings. England aren’t far behind in fourth but when you look at the quality in Belgium’s squad it’s hard to believe this golden generation hasn’t won anything. Kevin de Bruyne is having another exceptional season at Manchester City while striker Romelu Lukaku has settled well at Inter Milan, scoring 17 league goals already, quite an achievement in Serie A.
Having failed to qualify for Russia 2018 Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands have come back well and look a genuine contender for Euro 2020. The stand-out feature of the reborn Oranje is the centre back pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt, arguably the best in the world.
22-year-old Frenkie de Jong is now fulfilling his potential at Barcelona, while Quincy Promes is a livewire upfront, so keep an eye on these boys.
Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal will be in the shake-up too in what promises to be a fantastic tournament.
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