France head coach Didier Deschamps admits that his side have a point to prove at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil later this year.
The 1998 world champions needed a play-off to qualify for the tournament and will be seeking to lay to rest the memories of a particularly poor 2010 campaign in South Africa.
France finished bottom of Group A there, with dressing-room unrest dominating the headlines as the Europeans registered just one goal and one point.
A quarter-final exit at UEFA Euro 2012 did little to boost faith in the national team, and coach Laurent Blanc stepped down.
His successor, Deschamps, believes that France’s last notable achievement was reaching the final of the 2006 showpiece in Germany, where they lost on penalties to Italy.
The 45-year-old has now called on his charges to prove that they deserve a place among the world’s elite.
“The last good result achieved by a French national team was (reaching) the final in 2006. That’s eight years ago – that’s quite a while now,” he told UEFA.com.
“We are 17th in the FIFA rankings. We were eliminated in the quarter-finals at the last Euro’s by Spain, who then became European champions.
“The last good result achieved by a France team was 2006. Generations are changing, young players are coming in with a lot of skill. We will need to prove ourselves at the World Cup this summer.”
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