THE BOSS DIDIER DESCHAMPS
It has been a case of so near yet so far for the 1998 World Cup winner since taking over as France manager in 2012. Deschamps reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago before his side were edged out by Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. He has picked a young, exciting squad — leaving out some established stars — to go one better this time.
THE STAR ANTOINE GRIEZMANN
This forward’s movement is so slippery he is like an eel. When he is through on goal, he does not miss. Griezmann has had an impressive season with Atletico Madrid, scoring 29 goals in 49 games on their way to Europa League glory, and it’s little surprise that rumours are swirling of a move to Barcelona.
THE PROSPECT KYLIAN MBAPPE
He may be just 19 but Mbappe is one of the world’s most feared forwards. He is rapid! His combination of pace, dribbling and finishing makes the £166m PSG star a nightmare for defenders.
There is an abundance of pace — and strength in depth. Deschamps has left out Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette and Aymeric Laporte while Dimitri Payet is also missing through injury.
After a season of struggle with Manchester United, Paul Pogba performed poorly in France’s first warm-up match. Deschamps will hope Pogba can have a more positive impact in Russia.