Wednesday, September 18, 2019

France could dominate international football for a long time

David Nugent in Editorial, World Cup 16 Jul 2018

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France became world champions on Sunday evening, beating Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final in Moscow. While some controversy marred Les Bleus’ victory, for many the success was deserved for the Didier Deschamps team.

Les Bleus entered the tournament with question marks over the experience in the team and even Deschamps style of play. However, there seem to be far fewer critics now the team are world champions.

Highly efficient with a touch of flair

The current France team is highly efficient and well organised. The central defensive partnership of Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane is starting to develop into one of the best in world football.

The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba add a touch of flair to the solid foundations, while N’Golo Kante glues it all together in the centre of the park.

For all the criticism of Deschamps style of play from the French press, Les Bleus currently looks like a very balanced team. They managed to stay solid while remaining a big threat at the other end of the pitch. They were maybe not the most expansive outfit in Russia, but they ended up as world champions because of the quality in every position of the team.

Players still relatively young

It is quite frightening that many of the current France team are in their twenties or Mbappe’s case still in his teens. The vast majority of the starting eleven could still be around at the next World Cup.

The likes of Nabil Fekir and Ousmane Dembele who emerged off the bench at the tournament are also still young. Meanwhile, players like Alexandre Lacazette and Kingsley Coman still have time on their side when it comes to playing for Les Bleus.

However, the relationship that could be the bedrock of the team for a good while to come is that between the two first-choice centre-backs. The pair has already experienced big success at club level.

For a 25-year-old Varane has won an astounding amount of trophies with Real Madrid. The highlights of his trophy collection in club football have been winning the Champions League four times and La Liga twice. Varane is now fulfilling his immense potential at the heart of the defence for both club and country.

In club football, Umtiti plays for Real Madrid’s bitter-rivals Barcelona. The young centre-back is slightly less decorated when it comes to trophies than his Real Madrid counterpart. However, he did win La Liga with Barcelona last season.

The pair are both in their mid-twenties, so they are not even in their prime years for centre-backs. As a partnership, they are formidable and have all the attributes needed in a successful pairing.

Looking to win Euro 2020

France will now be looking ahead to the European Championships, with qualifiers starting in March of next year. Les Bleus will be keen to continue their winning momentum at Euro 2020, which will be played in various countries.

France certainly has the talent available to dominate world football for years to come. In fact, Les Bleus are currently odds of 4/1 favourites to win Euro 2020 in two years’ time.

Those odds are understandable considering the strength-in-depth that France has at their disposal. Les Bleus now have a big opportunity to go on and dominate international football. They have had their chances in the past but failed. However, this time around everything seems to be in place for France to go and win more international tournaments in the near future.

Will World Cup win lead to France dominating international football?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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