Didier Deschamps

AFP

France coach Deschamps lashes out at ‘pitiful’ Karim Benzema

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Paris (AFP) – Didier Deschamps took a swipe at Karim Benzema on Thursday as the French coach again left the Real Madrid forward out of his 26-man squad for three key matches next month.

The 29-year-old Benzema has not figured for France since October 2015 over allegations of his involvement in a sex-tape scandal featuring midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

France coach Deschamps lashes out at ‘pitiful’ Karim Benzema

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Paris (AFP) – Didier Deschamps took a swipe at Karim Benzema on Thursday as the French coach again left the Real Madrid forward out of his 26-man squad for three key matches next month.

The 29-year-old Benzema has not figured for France since October 2015 over allegations of his involvement in a sex-tape scandal featuring midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

First call-up for Monaco starlet Bakayoko

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Paris (AFP) – France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday called up highly rated Tiemoue Bakayoko for the first time, a week after the young Monaco midfielder played a major part in dumping Manchester City out of Europe.

The 22-year-old Bakayoko, who has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United, replaces United’s Paul Pogba for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg and the friendly with Spain after the world’s most expensive footballer suffered a hamstring problem.

Ranieri and Coleman take on super-coaches for FIFA title

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Zurich (AFP) Leicester's Claudio Ranieri and Wales boss Chris Coleman are on a FIFA shortlist for coach of the year against the managers of Europe's major club and international sides.

Fernando Santos, who guided Portugal to their upset victory over France in the Euro 2016 final, also makes the 10-man list released ahead of the start of voting on Friday.

Marseille Euro 2016 pitch a ‘disaster’ – Deschamps

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Marseille (AFP) The Euro 2016 pitch in Marseille has been labelled a "disaster" by France coach Didier Deschamps adding to fears over several tournament pitches that has led to top British troubleshooters being brought in.

UEFA, which raised concerns about French pitches before the tournament, has banned Iceland and Hungary from training on the Stade Velodrome ahead of their game there Saturday.

Marseille Euro 2016 pitch a ‘disaster’ – Deschamps

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Marseille (AFP) The Euro 2016 pitch in Marseille has been labelled a "disaster" by France coach Didier Deschamps adding to fears over several tournament pitches that has led to top British troubleshooters being brought in.

UEFA, which raised concerns about French pitches before the tournament, has banned Iceland and Hungary from training on the Stade Velodrome ahead of their game there Saturday.

Satisfied Deschamps sees room for improvement

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Marseille (AFP) Late goals by Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in Marseille secured the win against a stubborn Albania side as well as a slot in the last 16 in another late show for Euro 2016 hosts France.

"This is becoming a bit of a habit, I'd prefer us to break the deadlock a bit earlier," coach Didier Deschamps told media afterwards.

Satisfied Deschamps sees room for improvement

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Marseille (AFP) Late goals by Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in Marseille secured the win against a stubborn Albania side as well as a slot in the last 16 in another late show for Euro 2016 hosts France.

"This is becoming a bit of a habit, I'd prefer us to break the deadlock a bit earlier," coach Didier Deschamps told media afterwards.

France

Benzema refuses to give up on France recall

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Paris (AFP) – Frozen-out star forward Karim Benzema wants showdown talks with France coach Didier Deschamps about his international future and said Thursday he hasn’t given up hope of a recall.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid striker has not been picked by Deschamps since October 2015 after being embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal involving former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema refuses to give up on France recall

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Paris (AFP) – Frozen-out star forward Karim Benzema wants showdown talks with France coach Didier Deschamps about his international future and said Thursday he hasn’t given up hope of a recall.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid striker has not been picked by Deschamps since October 2015 after being embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal involving former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

France held in Ivory Coast friendly

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Lens (France) (AFP) A much-changed France team was held to a goalless draw by African champions the Ivory Coast in a friendly in the northern city of Lens on Tuesday.

The Ivorians came closest to breaking the deadlock at a packed Stade Bollaert-Delelis in the 11th minute when a fierce strike by the Basel left-back Adama Traore smashed against the post and Salomon Kalou converted the rebound, only for the offside flag to deny the Hertha Berlin striker.

Pogba’s game not about the goals – Deschamps

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Paris (AFP) France coach Didier Deschamps insists there is an awful lot more to Paul Pogba's game after the Manchester United star found the net again in his country's 2-1 win over Sweden on Friday.

The world's most expensive player headed in France's equaliser before Dimitri Payet got the winning goal in the World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France on Friday.

Pogba fires France as Belgium, Portugal run riot in World Cup qualifying

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Amsterdam (AFP) A searing first-half strike from Paul Pogba handed France a 1-0 win in the Netherlands as Belgium and Portugal clocked up 6-0 wins and Christian Benteke grabbed a slice of World Cup qualifying history.

Criticised by coach Didier Deschamps for his performance in Friday's 4-1 win over Bulgaria in Paris, the world's most expensive footballer emphatically replied with a towering display for Les Bleus in Amsterdam in the most eye-catching fixture on Monday.

France: Jeremy Mathieu Called Up For World Cup Qualifiers, Immediately Retires From International Duty

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You may be surprised to learn that Barcelona veteranJeremy Mathieu has only ever amassed five caps for France since making his international debut in 2011.

Indeed, despite his credentials as a perfectly reliable utilitariandefender, the 32-year-old has been largely overlooked by Les Bleus.

Where to find Italy vs. France on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Italy vs. France, you've come to the right place.

In Giampiero Ventura's first match in charge of Italy, the coach hopes to take off where Antonio Conte left off. Meanwhile, Didier Deschamps will want to see his France team bounce back after the disappointment of losing in the Euro 2016 final to Portugal.

Portugal 1-0 France (aet) – Star names of the Euro 2016 final

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The dust has now settled on France 2016, and UEFA's European Championships will be mothballed until 2020. Eder was the final's unlikely hero, his injury time piledriver handing Portugal their first...

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‘Irreparable’ Lille Euro 2016 pitch relaid

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Lille (France) (AFP) The playing surface at Lille's Euro 2016 stadium was replaced on Thursday after severe criticism of the state of the pitch.

UEFA admitted the pitch had suffered "irreversible damage" due to severe weather in recent weeks.

The 50,000 capacity stadium will host Germany's last 16 tie with Slovakia on Sunday and a quarter-final clash on July 1.

‘Irreparable’ Lille Euro 2016 pitch relaid

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Lille (France) (AFP) The playing surface at Lille's Euro 2016 stadium was replaced on Thursday after severe criticism of the state of the pitch.

UEFA admitted the pitch had suffered "irreversible damage" due to severe weather in recent weeks.

The 50,000 capacity stadium will host Germany's last 16 tie with Slovakia on Sunday and a quarter-final clash on July 1.

UEFA orders Lille Euro 2016 stadium pitch relaid

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Lille (France) (AFP) UEFA has ordered the pitch at the Lille Euro 2016 stadium to be hastily relaid after Wednesday's game between Italy and the Republic of Ireland because of "irreversible damage" caused by bad weather.

Italy were furious that they were being forced to play on the surface before it is changed.

UEFA orders Lille Euro 2016 stadium pitch relaid

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Lille (France) (AFP) UEFA has ordered the pitch at the Lille Euro 2016 stadium to be hastily relaid after Wednesday's game between Italy and the Republic of Ireland because of "irreversible damage" caused by bad weather.

Italy were furious that they were being forced to play on the surface before it is changed.

Granit Xhaka, N’Golo Kante stand out among top five players in Euro 2016 Group A

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With the action done and dusted inEuro 2016Group A two teams are safely through to the last 16 – group winners France and second place Switzerland – while Albania's 1-0 win over Romania means...

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Striding Sissoko stakes claim for France role at Euro 2016

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Lille (France) (AFP) With a purposeful display against Switzerland, France's Moussa Sissoko served notice that he can bring drive and dynamism to the Euro 2016 hosts' problematic midfield.

Aligned alongside Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba in a three-man midfield, Sissoko impressed as France recorded a 0-0 draw against the Swiss in Lille on Sunday that took them into the last 16 as Group A winners.

Striding Sissoko stakes claim for France role at Euro 2016

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Lille (France) (AFP) With a purposeful display against Switzerland, France's Moussa Sissoko served notice that he can bring drive and dynamism to the Euro 2016 hosts' problematic midfield.

Aligned alongside Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba in a three-man midfield, Sissoko impressed as France recorded a 0-0 draw against the Swiss in Lille on Sunday that took them into the last 16 as Group A winners.

Deschamps shuffles pack, drops Pogba, Griezmann

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Marseille (AFP) Didier Deschamps opted to shuffle his cards for France's Euro 2016 Group A tie against Albania in Marseille on Wednesday.

Juventus star Paul Pogba and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann have been dropped, although both are expected to feature for France later in the tournament.

Deschamps shuffles pack, drops Pogba, Griezmann

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Marseille (AFP) Didier Deschamps opted to shuffle his cards for France's Euro 2016 Group A tie against Albania in Marseille on Wednesday.

Juventus star Paul Pogba and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann have been dropped, although both are expected to feature for France later in the tournament.

France overcome pressure to win Euro 2016 opener

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Paris (AFP) With France heading for disappointment, Dimitri Payet unleashed a sensational goal to rescue the European Championship hosts who claimed a 2-1 win over Romania in an emotional opening match.

In a packed Stade de France surrounded by thousands of police guarding against a repeat of the Novermber 13 attacks on Paris, coach Didier Deschamps said a nation's expectations had weighed heavily.

France overcome pressure to win Euro 2016 opener

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Paris (AFP) With France heading for disappointment, Dimitri Payet unleashed a sensational goal to rescue the European Championship hosts who claimed a 2-1 win over Romania in an emotional opening match.

In a packed Stade de France surrounded by thousands of police guarding against a repeat of the Novermber 13 attacks on Paris, coach Didier Deschamps said a nation's expectations had weighed heavily.

Payet stunner rescues France in Euro 2016 opener

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Paris (AFP) Dimitri Payet's stunning 25 metre strike a minute from time got hosts France off to a winning start at Euro 2016 on Friday as they beat Romania 2-1.

Payet was France's standout performer all night. His cross also created the opener for Olivier Giroud before Bogdan Stancu's penalty looked to have handed Romania a point.

Payet stunner rescues France in Euro 2016 opener

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Paris (AFP) Dimitri Payet's stunning 25 metre strike a minute from time got hosts France off to a winning start at Euro 2016 on Friday as they beat Romania 2-1.

Payet was France's standout performer all night. His cross also created the opener for Olivier Giroud before Bogdan Stancu's penalty looked to have handed Romania a point.

France open Euro 2016 amid security clampdown

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Paris (AFP) Thousands of police surrounded the Stade de France on Friday ahead of the European Championship gala opener between the host country and Romania amid widespread security fears.

While the French and Romanian teams sought to avoid the state of emergency fallout, terror concerns and widespread strikes have cast a shadow over the month-long football fiesta for which France are one of the favourites along with Germany and Spain.

France open Euro 2016 amid security clampdown

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Paris (AFP) Thousands of police surrounded the Stade de France on Friday ahead of the European Championship gala opener between the host country and Romania amid widespread security fears.

While the French and Romanian teams sought to avoid the state of emergency fallout, terror concerns and widespread strikes have cast a shadow over the month-long football fiesta for which France are one of the favourites along with Germany and Spain.

France open Euro 2016 amid security clampdown

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Paris (AFP) Thousands of police surrounded the Stade de France on Friday ahead of the European Championship gala opener between the host country and Romania amid widespread security fears.

While the French and Romanian teams sought to avoid the state of emergency fallout, terror concerns and widespread strikes have cast a shadow over the month-long football fiesta for which France are one of the favourites along with Germany and Spain.

France open Euro 2016 on a mission to lift national gloom

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Paris (AFP) Didier Deschamps' France start the European Championship finals against Romania on Friday with the country plunged into strike chaos but among favourites to win the trophy.

Under a state of emergency since the November 13 Paris attacks and with strikes threatening rail travel and garbage collection, the nation is counting on the team to repeat the feats of the French sides that won Euro 84 and the 1998 World Cup on home soil.

France open Euro 2016 on a mission to lift national gloom

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Paris (AFP) Didier Deschamps' France start the European Championship finals against Romania on Friday with the country plunged into strike chaos but among favourites to win the trophy.

Under a state of emergency since the November 13 Paris attacks and with strikes threatening rail travel and garbage collection, the nation is counting on the team to repeat the feats of the French sides that won Euro 84 and the 1998 World Cup on home soil.

France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

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Paris (AFP) A tortuous build-up dominated by off-field controversy and untimely injuries comes to an end for hosts France when they finally get Euro 2016 underway against Romania in Group A at the Stade de France on Friday.

Les Bleus' preparations on the field have been distracted by claims from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema that his exclusion from the squad was racially motivated.

France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

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Paris (AFP) A tortuous build-up dominated by off-field controversy and untimely injuries comes to an end for hosts France when they finally get Euro 2016 underway against Romania in Group A at the Stade de France on Friday.

Les Bleus' preparations on the field have been distracted by claims from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema that his exclusion from the squad was racially motivated.

Lights out at midnight for Les Bleus ahead of Euro 2016

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Paris (AFP) French coach Didier Deschamps has imposed a lights out at midnight regime in the team base as he prepares his players to launch the European Championship finals on Friday, according to striker Olivier Giroud.

"He (Deschamps) doesn't want any music after midnight so the players have to leave the games room," Giroud told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday, three days ahead of the opening match against Romania in Paris.

Lights out at midnight for Les Bleus ahead of Euro 2016

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Paris (AFP) French coach Didier Deschamps has imposed a lights out at midnight regime in the team base as he prepares his players to launch the European Championship finals on Friday, according to striker Olivier Giroud.

"He (Deschamps) doesn't want any music after midnight so the players have to leave the games room," Giroud told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday, three days ahead of the opening match against Romania in Paris.

Videos

15 Big-Named Foreign Players You Might Have Forgotten Played In The Premier League

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As part of Pies' ongoing mini nostalgia-fest, we thought we'd follow up our compendiumof elderlyfootballers still plugging away out thereby cobbling together a list of some of the big names whose Premier League exploits may have slipped from your consciousness over time.

Let's delve in, starting with the man in the photo above.

Witchcraft: French Football Presenter Walks Straight Through TV Screen And Out Onto The Pitch (Video)

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Having watched mostof Euro 2016 so far on French television,we can definitely say that the level of coverage has been a cut above that of Sky Sports and their piffling touch-screens.

First we sawDavid Ginola interview Didier Deschamps via hologram (via hologram, we say!), followed by a truly majestic piece of technological wizardry on channel M6 during the France-Switzerland game that saw the presenter step out of the studio, THROUGH the giant televisionscreen and out onto the pitch.