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[games coming out in 2020]Kylian Mbappe the fall-guy as France lose penalty shootout to Switzerland and exit Euro 2020


  We will get to the match report from Jeremy Wilson shortly. I am hearing that there may even be another match on tomorrow. If it’s half as exciting as the two games today then we are in for a wild ride! Thanks for following this one with us. Cheers.


  that the talk on ITV from the likes of Neville, G and Pougatch, M is that it’s all opening up for England… Oh crikey.

  France out! Holland out! Portugal out! Nothing can go wrong for England now.

  — Danny Kelly (@dannykellywords) June 28, 2021


  wins the man of the match award.

  Granit Xhaka before the shootout

  Leader, warrior… Arsenal player?! Granit Xhaka rallies his troops




  of football that was! Croatia and Spain produced a highly entertaining match, and then this Swiss triumph over mighty France.


  as you would imagine. “I鈥檓 glad they got punished for that. You can have all the quality in the world, but if you don鈥檛 turn up with the proper attitude, it鈥檚 hard to switch it back on.”

  He points out that Pogba lost the ball for the Swiss third, and indeed he did. Plenty of speculation as to whether Pogba can do it in a midfield two. That might be for another day, maybe.


  Switzerland's goalkeeper Yann Sommer with the key moment

  Switzerland’s goalkeeper Yann Sommer with the key moment




  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  Switzerland’s Mario Gavranovic scores their third goal to force extra time – and penalties!


  Kylian Mbappe of France makes his way towards the box to take his side's fifth penalty聽

  Kylian Mbappe of France makes his way towards the box to take his side’s fifth penalty聽




  Switzerland looked gone for all money at 3-1, but they fought like neutral tigers.


  Ah the poor kid. He ran up, he hit it hard and true, the keeper聽Sommer guesses, he dives and he gets a good strong hand on it.

  Kylian hit it to the keeper’s right, but it wasn’t in the corner. It was the weakest of the ten penalties. The keeper was moving across and would have gone too far, but he managed to claw at it with his ‘wrong’ hand, the trailing left hand.聽Mbapp茅, as you would imagine, looks devastated.聽

  Switzerland win 5-4 on penalties


  France are out!


  Mehmedi runs up and slots it in the corner.聽Mehmedi scores!

  It’s over to Mbappe……..


  Kimpembe the next man. Hits it with his left, top corner, never stopping that.聽Kimpembe scores


  Vargas steps up. Lloris guesses right, dives right, Lloris gets a hand to it but he has hit it just hard enough. Ooof, nervous moment.聽Varga scores.


  Marcus Thuram steps up. He looks a bit nervous. The keeper guesses right – dives to his right. But it was well struck from Lilian’s boy.聽Thuram scores


  Akanji of Dortmund…. runs up, waits for the keeper to move, and fires it into the corner.聽Akanji scores


  No mistake from Olivier Giroud, right into the corner, nicely taken. Giroud scores!


  It’s聽Schar of Newcsatle, slots it delicately into the corner, sending Lloris the wrong way. Schar scores!


  The Man United man stutters in his run up and mullers it into the top corner. Nobody’s saving that. Pogba scores!


  Looks to the heavens.


  Gavranovic of Zagreb blasts it into the roof of the net. Nice.聽Gavranovic scores


  聽It will be聽Gavranovic, who scored their late equaliser.


  France: Lloris, Varane, Lenglet, Kimpembe, Pavard, Pogba, Kante, Rabiot, Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe-Lottin.聽Subs: Lemar, Giroud, Tolisso, Zouma, Mandanda, Sissoko, Coman, Lucas, Ben Yedder, Maignan, Dubois, Thuram.

  Switzerland: Sommer, Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez, Widmer, Freuler, Xhaka, Zuber, Shaqiri, Seferovic, Embolo.聽Subs: Mbabu, Zakaria, Vargas, Mvogo, Sow, Fassnacht, Benito, Mehmedi, Gavranovic, Fernandes, Kobel, Schar.

  Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)


  Oh my goodness how exciting. Who do you think will win?

  The French guys are in a huddle, all their players and support staff.聽

  Benzema, Griezemann are already subbed off as you know – so that’s two who would have taken, I guess.

  But for the Swiss, Shaq, and the two goal Seferovic have also gone so.

  Lloris obviously has saved one pen already tonight.


  Rabiot with a silly foul. Xhaka will be the one who gets the last chance… a direct freekick. Miles over.

  It’s going to penalties!


  The French are the side with the ball, the ones asking the questions, probing, trying to open up one more chance… and here it is! Into the area, acrobatic leap from Giroud. Leaping save from the keeper but he was always getting there.


  If Pogba played like this on the reg, United would be winning the League every year. Mind you, what about Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka? He has been聽 superb.

  A minor lull in the last 90 seconds. Have thoughts turned to pens?


  What a pass from Pogba, just drills it with the outside of the foot on the volley into the path of Thuram, he crosses it… Giroud! Fluffs the shot.

  Clive says of that quarterbacked pass: “Tonight Matthew, I am going to be Tom Brady!”


  It’s all France. Thuram HAS now come on as a sub. Bombs down the flank, crosses. It’s hacked clear in a panic. Corner. Cleared.

  But it is the French who are asking all of the questions.


  Now it is Pogba who carves the defence open with a surgeon’s pass… Mbappe puts it into the side netting. He let it come across himself and tries it with the left. He should have taken it early with his right.

  Coman IS now coming off.


  Some wonderful battling from Kante, powers forward, simply will not countenance losing the ball. Manages to play it inside to Mbappe, who scuffs the shot wide.


  Pogba robs Mehmedi and powers forward, what a sight he is in full flow. Akanji barges him to the floor and accepts the justified yellow with no complaint.


  Can Mbappe deliver? He had a couple of electric moments early on but has been kept pretty well boxed up by the Swiss.


  Where’s your money?


  Good press from the French. They force and error, turn it over, and release Sissoko. He聽cannot play a meaningful ball in. That will be the end of the first period.

  Bit of a quieter period after a madcap first 90. I fancy there’ll be a winner before pens are needed, personally.


  Are the Swiss finishing stronger? They seem to be putting France under a fair deal of pressure. Mehmedi has done a great job since coming on as sub. He’s shot wide from a corner.


  Players dropping like flies. Xhaka lunges in on Pogba, but comes off worse. He’s okay.

  Sissoko breaks forward and tries an effort. That will land somewhere in Budapest. I love that story of the French lads who went to the wrong capital.


  Thuram is coming on to replace Coman, who was himself a sub. Coman seems to have gone in the hamstring. No! Coman has convinced the medical staff to let him stay on.

  Magnificent game, high drama and the crowd are…. doing a Mexican wave. I guess that’s what you get for not having supporters of the ACTUAL TEAMS WHO ARE PLAYING in the ground.


  Mbabu does superbly down the right, hard low cross. Varane saves the day once again. There were two Swiss attackers lurking and Varane had to be perfect. He’s a magnificent defender that guy.聽


  Haris Seferovic, absolute warrior’s performance, is coming off. Scharr (of Newcastle) is coming on.


  So close! Coman gets down the flank, crosses, Pavard has a chance… the ball won’t quite drop for him and he has to improvise. Flicks a shot at goal – well saved by Sommer. Tipped over for a corner, dealt with okay.


  Benzema is coming off – looked a bit like he might have picked up a knock? Regardless, it is Giroud who comes on.


  The aforementioned Mehmedi gets up at a corner, but plants his effort right at the keeper.


  Booking for Pavard – he’s going to miss the next match – DD has got major problems at full back. But he’s got more pressing problems right now. He went in high on聽Mehmedi聽


  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  Karim Benzema scores his first, and he would add another one minute and 42 seconds later


  Exceptional entertainment. What a half of football. Five goals and a missed penalty.


  And we are still not done! Now France deliver it up field, find Coman, he brings it under control with his chest, he cuts inside…聽 and smacks it against the upright. Oh my days. What a game! And there will be another 30 minutes at least, because that is the end of 90 minutes!


  Arsenal fans, do not adjust your sets… Granit Xhaka is absolutely delivering. Another wonderful pass from deep…聽Mehmedi only has to control it and he’s got a one on one. But his control fails him.


  Kante out of his element, making a driving run into the Swiss box… a Swiss defender,聽Mbabu, slides in. A natural forward might have tried to game a pen there.


  Going to be four聽minutes added. Can either side find a winner?


  Xhaka was the man who played the pass from midfield.聽Kimpembe the defender who lost the man聽 Gavranovic.

  Four minutes are going to be added on…


  The Swiss hound the French in midfield. Benzema (?) gives Pogba a bit of a hospital pass, he’s surrounded by two players and he loses it. It’s played forward to聽Gavranovic, he controls it on the edge of the box, he takes a touch and he has fired it home into the corner!聽


  Can the Swiss get hold of it and have one last spin of the wheel? France giving nothing at the moment.


  Sissoko is coming on, Antoine G makes way, Deschamps just needs to shore this up. Coman is booked for a foul.


  The Swiss have it in the net. Rodriguez tries an effort from distance, it is a bit of a daisy cutter, but it turns into an inadvertant through ball for聽Gavranovic… who slots the ball away! But that looks offside, and indeed it is offside.


  Well where’s your money now?! The Swiss looked beaten after the two goals, but the third goal from Poggers only seems to have roused them. It is the men in all white who have the ball now.


  The French were looking so classy, so slick, but they’ve allowed the Swiss to get forward down the right. A cross into the middle and a meaty, beaty, big and bouncy header from the mighty Seferovic – he’s a lovely big boy and he’s got up majestically there. Proper old school goal: cross from the right win, gie it tae tha big man and he has headed that home.


  Just when France were starting to look sublime….


  Another good move: Rabiot, Benzema… the movement is superb now… Coman joins in and has a shot. Smartly struck but at the keeper.


  … Benzema tries a shot, it is repelled, but only as far as Paul Pogba. He takes a couple of touches, and then unloads a glorious shot into the top corner from range. Absolute peach.


  The French聽 front three are really starting to enjoy themselves, liquid, dangerous, pacy football from them…


  Mbabu and聽Gavranovic are coming on.


  It’s all starting to happen for France. The interplay, the pace, the understanding, the connections. They look a different team.


  Swiss clear the ensuing corner. They look a bit stunned and deflated. And why wouldn’t they?


  We’ve already had one comedy own goal today and we nearly had enough… aimless long ball from the French, the Swiss keeper comes out, but Widmer, running back, sends the ball over his keeper with a looping header. Oh my goodness… it drifts wide, thankfully.


  Xherdan Shaqiri with a perfect curled freekick… it’s beaten everyone and Widmer and Seferovic are in each others way unmarked at the back post. Ref has blown, not sure for what. Anyway they couldn’t tuck it away


  Four minutes, one penalty save, two goals. France showing World Champion heart there. They’d been playing like a drain.

  One minute 42 seconds between the two Benzema goals.


  More genius from Franhce, this time it is Griezmann who dances through, tries to dink it over the goalie… keeper does pretty well but he’s pushed it into the path of Benzema, who has the simplest of headers to make it 2-1.


  The French are back in business.


  Oooh, Switzerland. That’s got to hurt. Mbappe plays a little slide rule through and Benzema produces a simply otherworldly touch, he kind of gathers it with his foot miles behind the rest of his body, somehow manages to drag it into the path and then slots it away. Genius.


  It seems to have lifted France. Pogba drives them on, releases the ball perfectly for the unmarked Mbappe and he measures out a curling shot at the far post… it’s just wide. Always looked wide.


  Oh it’s a brilliant save from Hugo Lloris – well done sir. The penalty was reasonably well directed, low and to the keeper’s right but it was not hit with much conviction. Lloris dived and palmed it away. Huge moment, obviously.

  Ricardo Rodriguez has his penalty saved


  Hugo Lloris, what have you got?


  Zuber with a direct and quick run down the left and goes down under the challenge of Pavard. That looks well worth a Var check to me. He was haring into the box on the left, he has flown in, Zuber has done him with a bit of skill and the Frenchman has absolutely cleaned him out.

  The match plays on, the French go up the other end, but soon enough that move breaks down and it is a Var check. Swiss penalty!


  Goal saving, maybe tournament saving intervention, from Varane. Embolo had got to the byline, pulled it back and it looked like Seferovic was perfectly placed to apply the finish but Varane somehow got a touch to save the day.


  Pogba drives forward and beats a couple. Then blooters it wide but still.

  Griezmann also had a shot from range just then.


  I would imagine Didier has given the聽le hairdryeur at half time, the French have come out looking brighter.

  No shot on target for them in the first half.

  Rabiot has gone to left back. Lenglet the man who came off.


  Yes by the looks – Coman is coming on.

  Keane fin at half time:聽”The one thing you need in football is enthusiasm. They don’t look like they’ve got an appetite for the game. They’re not playing as a team. For all the quality they have, two lads in midfield聽are all over the place, the strikers are just hanging on hoping that their quality聽will be enough. That’s not enough at this level.

  ”I could play for Switzerland tonight. If you gave me time on the ball, I’d still be playing. They’re in huge trouble.”


  prestige TV show idea: Ricardo Rodriguez is caught in a time loop, taking the same corner at #Euro2020 over and over again. Is he mad, in a coma, or stuck on the ITV Hub forever? If he can work out the reason, maybe he can get home pic.twitter.com/RYhwedJ6hI

  — Jack Bernhardt (@jackbern23) June 28, 2021

  Have Switzerland taken their corner yet #ITVHub

  — 馃彺鬆仹鬆仮鬆仴鬆伄鬆仹鬆伩 (@aaron_bennis10) June 28, 2021


  42min into ITV Hub freezing in the 4th minute of #FRASUI and still no resolution. ITV Hub has been appalling all through the Euros, but this takes the biscuit. https://t.co/KyulBjzG7u

  — absurdist lemon tree (@IsabelleSolmaz) June 28, 2021

  itv hub is actually ruining the euros

  — Sarah 馃嚠馃嚬馃尮#KilltheBill (@sazmeister88) June 28, 2021

  not itv hub crashing 5 mins before love island starts

  the euros & #LoveIsland being on at the same time is chaos

  — Inayah 馃(she/her) (@inayahshahh) June 28, 2021



  Well, well, well. Upset on the cards? France got their formation wrong, I think: they used a back three but it seemed to make them a bit flat, in terms of the geometry of their set up, and figuratively as well. The Swiss have been bright and busy.聽

  The lad聽 marking Mbappe, Elvedi, looked like he was in for a long evening but other colleagues have joined in to help out the right back, and Mbappe has been kept largely quiet.聽Antoine Griezmann has done naff all.聽Karim Benzema also very limited involvement.聽

  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  Big Haris Seferovic nuts home the opener


  AFP via Getty Images



  Granit Xhaka sends Embolo, who blooters his cross well out. Maybe they need to get him looked at… anyway, that is half time.


  Benzema drives into the box and shoots. Rebounds out, Embolo goes up for the header with Rabiot who has absolutely drilled him with the head. Ooof. God that could have been nasty. Well he’s up and seemingly okay to carry on but the Docs will be checking him over at HT, which is imminent.


  Embolo surges into the box, he’s looked lively. France have plenty back and get it clear but he’s a threat that guy, no question.


  Mbappe, maybe getting impatient, tries a low percentage shot from outside the box.聽


  Deschamps looks a little uneasy as he paces that technical area.


  Swiss corner. Lloris was rooted to his line, but it is cleared by one of his defenders.


  Nice move this from the Swiss, Xhaka slots it through but Embolo’s touch lets him down. He could have been in there.


  Looks like the French are in fact switching to a back four.


  There’s a drinks break and someone has got on the pitch – a streaker I guess judging from the amused jeers.


  Rabiot has got forward well but his fellow wing back聽Benjamin Pavard, on the right, hasn’t really got up at all. So those three at the back are four and half at the back and it’s all a bit flat and defensive for the French.聽


  Antoine G has a corner for the French. That’s easily dealt with.


  Nico Elvedi has a hell of a job on, marking Mbappe. That just got harder: he has been booked for tripping Adrien Rabiot.


  Varane has chopped down聽聽Steven Zuber.

  Freekick comes in and Embolo has a header! Should have done better, and he knows it..


  Rabiot is coming into the game, cutting inside and he’s let rip with a spiffy shot, not at all far wide.


  Pogba with a nice ball fired in, Benzema controls it gorgeously with the outside of his boot as he spins, but really well marshalled by the Swiss defence there. Doing a decent job so far.


  Mbappe strikes it cleanly, wall does its job and rebounds to the same player. Mbappe crushes the rebound wide. He can certainly give the ball a wallop.


  France have a freekick…


  France starting to tick… Rabiot drives to the goal-line, crosses, and the keeper does well just to flap that away with a striker lurking.

  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  France’s Karim Benzema and Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji


  Pool via Reuters



  Xhaka looks to drive the Swiss forward but he has given it away… Pogba with great vision to pick out Mbappe, but he’s caught offside. He’s been caught off a few times the last couple of times I have watched him. Coach should tell him that he’s so quick he can just take a breath, non?


  A pass intended for Mbappe goes astray and he’s got a bit of a cob on.


  Approving reaction from Chris Sutton on the BBC about that goal! “This is a terrific header from the big cart-horse, he gets up superbly. He bullies Lenglet, nudging him to take him out of the game and then he powers the header into the far corner.

  Rabiot gives it away..


  That should make for a cracking game, shouldn’t it? The French will really have to have a go. They’ve got a freekick to get started with,聽Antoine Griezmann slings it in but the Swiss deal with that okay.


  The Swiss have it in the goal! Nice build up play. Seferovic and聽Embolo are involved in a patient, clever build up. It’s out to Zuber on the left, decent delivery. The ball is hung up, Sferovic gives the centre back Lenglet a judicious wee shove and then puts the header away. Var check, but it is not going to save the French. Well played Switzerland!


  Switzerland enjoying a nice little spell of the ball here.


  A better few minutes for the Swiss, couple of attacks of their own, not letting France have it all their own way.

  Presnel Kimpembe was limping a bit for Les Bleus a moment ago… we’ll keep an eye on him.


  Mbappe at it again, at聽Elvedi again. Xhaka comes back to help out and makes an important intervention.


  Another dangerous France attack, Benzema with a shot:聽Steven Zuber with a block.


  All France in the early stages. Ally McCoisy says: “Early signs are it might be a long night for Elvedi on the right side of that Swiss defence. Both聽Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema have had a go at him already.”

  France: Hugo Lloris (captain); Presnel Kimpembe, Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, Adrien Rabiot, Benjamin Pavard; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema

  Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Steven Zuber, Silvan Widmer; Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka (captain), Xherdan Shaqiri; Breel Embolo, Haris Seferovic


  Raphael Varane gets up well there! Towers above all for a free header and really could have done better there.


  France in dark blue shirts and shorts, red socks. Swiss in all white. Mbappe the first player to show, runs down the left. France have won a corner.


  a problem with an injury at left back to Digne and Hernandez, so has decided to do away with one altogether and play three centre backs. We’ll see how it all works – right now!聽


  The Swissers to play first.

  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  France players warm up


  Pool Photo via AP



  Here come the French boys. There are about 25,000 fans in. 24 degrees the temperature. Clive Tyldesley says that there are approx聽”1,500 fans” from each of the two competing countries.


  Paul Pogba


  DeFodi Images via Getty Images


  are unanimous in their assessment that only complacency can defeat France tonight. That and possibly 聽Xherdan Shaqiri. But the expert view appears to be that N’Golo Kante will just sit on him, and that should nullify the attacking threat of the Swiss.


  will play Spain in the next round. Luis Enrique’s men have won the game of the tournament so far, beating the Croatians 5-3 aet. It was 3-1 late in normal time but Croatia forced extra time, had a great chance early in it, and then let in two.


  france vs switzerland euro 2020 live score team news latest updates

  France fans in Bucharest


  AFP via Getty Images


  World champions France appear to have changed their approach and the team news suggests they will play with three centre backs when they take on Switzerland in their European Championship last-16 clash.

  Coach Didier Deschamps has made three changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Portugal in their last Group F match on Wednesday while the Swiss, who last played eight days ago when they beat Turkey to finish third in Group A, remain unchanged.

  The French have added Clement Lenglet into the centre of defence alongside Presnel Kimpembe and Raphael Varane and prefer聽Adrien Rabiot on the left to Lucas Hernandez, and Benjamin Pavard on the right to Jules Kounde.

  Corentin Tolisso is the other player who drops to the bench for France, whose midfielder Ngolo Kante celebrates his 50th cap.

  Switzerland, who have gone out in the last 16 at the last three major tournaments, have stuck with the lineup from last Sunday鈥檚 3-1 win in Baku.

  It means flying full back Kevin Mbabu, who was an option for coach Vladimir Petkovic, remains on the bench despite much speculation he could start.

  For Petkovic, the match is his 77th in charge of the Swiss side, equalling the record of Karl Rappan, who had four spells in charge of the national team between 1937 and 1963.

  Teams again

  France: Hugo Lloris (captain); Presnel Kimpembe, Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, Adrien Rabiot, Benjamin Pavard; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema

  Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Steven Zuber, Silvan Widmer; Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka (captain), Xherdan Shaqiri; Breel Embolo, Haris Seferovic


  France: Lloris, Varane, Lenglet, Kimpembe, Pavard, Pogba, Kante, Rabiot, Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe-Lottin. Subs: Lemar, Giroud, Tolisso, Zouma, Mandanda, Sissoko, Coman, Lucas, Ben Yedder, Maignan, Dubois, Thuram.

  Switzerland: Sommer, Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez, Widmer, Freuler, Xhaka, Zuber, Shaqiri, Seferovic, Embolo. Subs: Mbabu, Zakaria, Vargas, Mvogo, Sow, Fassnacht, Benito, Mehmedi, Gavranovic, Fernandes, Kobel, Schar.

  Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)


  We should have our teams for this one very shortly.


  Get yourself over to Croatia 3 Spain 3!!!


  France's forward Kylian Mbappe exits the team bus as he arrives at the National Arena in Bucharest聽

  France’s forward Kylian Mbappe exits the team bus as he arrives at the National Arena in Bucharest聽




  You’d be well advised to follow Rob Bagchi’s live blog of the Croatia 2 Spain 3 match… there are five or so minutes left and Modric’s boys are giving it their all.


  Good evening and welcome to our live blog of France vs Switzerland, in the last 16 stage of the Euros. We will have all the build up ahead of the 8pm kick off and the team news. In the meantime, here’s my colleague Luke Edwards to set the scene…

  Before a ball had been kicked at this European Championships we knew who the favourites to win it were and nothing that has happened since has done anything to dent confidence in France.

  They finished top of by far the toughest group, beating Germany before securing the draws against Portugal and Hungary which enabled Didier Deschamps鈥?side to qualify for the round of 16 top, setting up tonight’s first knockout test against Switzerland.

  Other sides, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, may have qualified with maximum points, but France did so leaving plenty in reserve.

  Whenever they were put under pressure, most notably by Portugal in their final group game, where they fell behind twice, the French got back into it with the sort of effortless upping of performance levels, led by the Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Juventus鈥?Adrien Rabiot, that looked ominous for everyone else.

  When you also factor in that arguably their best player, Paris Saint Germain鈥檚 Kylian Mbappe has not scored a goal yet, it is impossible to escape the idea so much more can come from Les Blues starting against the Swiss.

  The reigning world champions have not been at their best – more functionable than flair – but in the Germany game, in particular, they delivered a performance that was simply too good for one of the other major nations to handle.

  It all points towards the completion of an enthralling test, a challenge to replicate the achievements of the last great French side which won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships two years later. Expectations are so high that anything less than a victory in the final at Wembley on July 11th will be perceived as a failure.

  It is an expectation this generation are used to playing with. Just as they are comfortable with the comparison with those that conquered Europe and the rest of the world before them. They are not burdened by the weight of history, they seem to be inspired by it.

  There was a time when we could allude to fragility in France. They have had talented teams before and failed, but when you have already won the World Cup, why would any of the players feel the strain of trying to win the Euros too?

  There was pressure in the group stage and they came through with the air of an athlete qualifying from the heats – doing enough to get over the line ahead of their rivals but doing so with plenty left in reserve.

  The concern for the rest of those with genuine title winning credentials – including England of course – is that you feel France could easily move through the gears as we enter the business end of the tournament.聽

  Should he add a European Championship winning medal to the World Cup one he helped inspire France to three years ago, Pogba鈥檚 status as one of the world鈥檚 best will be assured in silverware.

  Yet, at club level, he remains a difficult problem to work out. For Manchester United, there have always been flashes of brilliance, but also far too many mediocre displays and the criticism that comes with it.

  鈥淔or me, it鈥檚 only the French Pogba that matters,鈥漵aid Deschamps when asked about the difference between the player in blue compared to red.聽

  鈥淚 don鈥檛 like talking about what鈥檚 going on at club football whether it鈥檚 [Ole Gunnar] Solskj忙r or any other coach. Players are different, coaches are different.

  鈥淭he only thing that鈥檚 important to me is what he鈥檚 doing for the French team and the importance he has on the pitch. He is a born leader and a highly influential player.鈥?/p>

  Pogba has never received the same sort of global acclaim someone like Zinedine Zidance received when he was the star of those tournament triumphs in 98 and 2000.

  But Pogba will match him if France are crowned champions. He will no longer have to prove anything to anyone – not in France at least. The scene is set.