France coach Didier Deschamps is not yet thinking about attempting to retain the World Cup after signing a new contract.

Deschamps agreed a new deal on Tuesday that takes the coach through to the end of Qatar 2022.

France will first attempt to follow their successful campaign at Russia 2018 by claiming European Championship glory for the first time since 2000 next year.

Les Bleus were runners-up at Euro 2016, with Deschamps hoping to go one step further than their defeat to Portugal on home soil.

"It is an honour for me to be the coach of France," Deschamps told a news conference. 

"You know the attachment I continue to have for what this jersey represents.

"Sincerely, I thank the [French Football Federation] president [Noel Le Graet] for his confidence. The quality of our relationship is very important to me.

"There are still many things to do. Many have already been done. We are world champions in title. We are judged by the results.

"I am happy in my job. I have the best French players, with a remarkable state of mind. There are still beautiful things to do.

"Qatar is very far away. The goal is the Euros… My energy and that of my staff are focused on it."

No team has retained the World Cup since the great Brazil side featuring Pele won the tournament in 1958 and 1962.

Didier Deschamps will lead France in their World Cup defence after committing to Les Bleus through to the end of their Qatar 2022 mission.

The new deal for the head coach, confirmed at a news conference in Paris, rewards the former midfielder for his ongoing success with the national team.

Deschamps was contracted until the end of Euro 2020 but has committed for a further two and a half years to take in another World Cup trophy quest.

The Qatar finals take place from November 21 until December 18, and if Deschamps sees out his contract he will complete a full decade in his post.

Appointed in July 2012, initially on a two-year deal, he oversaw France's Euro 2016 campaign on home soil, where they lost to Portugal in the final.

Les Bleus went one better at Russia 2018, a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final seeing Deschamps match the feat of Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany and Mario Zagallo with Brazil in becoming a World Cup winner both as a player and as a manager.

He was captain of France's triumphant 1998 team and played most notably at club level for Marseille and Juventus, winning the Champions League with both.

Didier Deschamps will lead France in their World Cup defence after committing to Les Bleus through to the end of their Qatar 2022 mission.

The new deal for the head coach, confirmed at a news conference in Paris, rewards the former midfielder for his ongoing success with the national team.

Deschamps was contracted until the end of Euro 2020 but has committed for a further two and a half years to take in another World Cup trophy quest.

The Qatar finals take place from November 21 until December 18, and if Deschamps sees out his contract he will complete a full decade in his post.

Appointed in July 2012, initially on a two-year deal, he oversaw France's Euro 2016 campaign on home soil, where they lost to Portugal in the final.

Les Bleus went one better at Russia 2018, a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final seeing Deschamps match the feat of Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany and Mario Zagallo with Brazil in becoming a World Cup winner both as a player and as a manager.

He was captain of France's triumphant 1998 team and played most notably at club level for Marseille and Juventus, winning the Champions League with both.

Didier Deschamps accepted France faced a huge test at Euro 2020 as Germany coach Joachim Low had no doubt Group F was the "group of death".

World champions France were drawn alongside Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Germany, plus a play-off winner, in the group on Saturday.

Deschamps acknowledged his team would be challenged in Group F, which will be played in Budapest and Munich.

"It's a difficult group, but I think that Joachim Low and Portugal head coach [Fernando Santos] think the same thing. It's the hardest group, but we have to accept it," he said.

"We will need to be ready at the beginning of the competition because our first game will be against Germany in Munich. They will play at home.

"On paper, it's a tough group. These two teams have many qualities and they recently had good results."

France's first match will be against Germany at the Allianz Arena on June 16 before playing two games in Budapest.

Deschamps said: "It could be better, but what can we do? Germany and Portugal are in our group. We know when we will play and where.

"We still have to wait to know our third opponent. But we already know the quality of two of our opponents. So we can prepare to be ready for the match day."

Low was surprisingly happy about getting the opportunity to play against France and Portugal, but said it was undoubtedly the toughest group.

"At first I feel joy because these are highlight games against France and Portugal. We play against the reigning world champions and European champions," the Germany coach said.

"I think the players are also looking forward to these games. Of course it's a group of death. Everyone in this group has to go to the limit if they want to get ahead.

"But I think that these games will be football festivals. Then we also play in Germany. I'm looking forward to it."

Didier Deschamps paid tribute to his players after taking charge of France for the 100th time in Sunday's 2-0 win away to Albania.

France – who were already assured of Euro 2020 qualification – eased to victory in Tirana, with Antoine Griezmann setting up Corentin Tolisso for the opener before then scoring himself.

Victory ensured Les Bleus finish top of Group H and allowed coach Deschamps to celebrate his milestone at the helm in fitting fashion.

However, the national team boss shifted focus on to the players when asked about reaching the landmark.

He told TF1: "I've been touched by what people have said about my 100th game.

"I'm dependent on the players and some of them have been with me from the start of the journey, helping France get very good results along the way.

"There's personal pride, but most of all I'm proud of my players and their spirit."

Tolisso's opener was the Bayern Munich midfielder's first international goal and he put it down to a pre-match pep talk with himself.

"I'm very proud to have scored my first international goal and very happy," Tolisso said.

"I said to myself before the game that I needed to make a run from a free-kick and that if the ball was going to come to me then so be it.

"I made the run and the ball came to me and it paid off."

Karim Benzema has told French football chief Noel Le Graet to stop interfering after claiming the Real Madrid striker would never play for his country again.

The 31-year-old last turned out for Les Bleus in a 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015, since when he has been conspicuous by his absence from every squad selected.

Despite being a talisman for one of the biggest clubs in world football, the door appears closed to Benzema when it comes to Didier Deschamps' France team.

Since 2015, Benzema has strenuously denied any wrongdoing in an alleged attempt to blackmail former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

He has not played for France since the allegations were made, and that appears unlikely to change whatever the circumstances after Le Graet this week vowed a Benzema recall was out of the question.

Le Graet spoke out days after Real Madrid's French boss Zinedine Zidane said Benzema should "definitely" be recalled by Deschamps.

"Karim Benzema is a very good player, I've never doubted his qualities," French Football Federation president Le Graet told RMC Sport. "On the contrary, he shows with Real Madrid that he is one of the best players in his position. But the adventure with France is finished."

That prompted a seething response from Benzema, who wrote on Twitter: "Noel I thought that you wouldn't interfere in the coach's decisions!

"[You should] know that it's me and me alone who will put an end to my international career.

"If you think I'm finished, let me play for one of the countries for which I'm eligible and we'll see."

Benzema, who comes from Algerian heritage, scored 27 goals in 81 appearances for France before being sidelined from the national team.

With Real Madrid he has won a host of trophies, including the Champions League on four occasions, and with nine goals this season he is LaLiga's top scorer.

World champions France play Albania on Sunday in their final Euro 2020 qualifier, already assured of a place at next year's finals.

Didier Deschamps was not impressed with France's first-half performance against Moldova, insisting Euro 2020 qualification did not justify a below-par showing in their 2-1 win.

France booked their place at next year's finals before playing on Thursday, as Turkey drew at home to Iceland to ensure the visitors could not catch either their opponents or the world champions.

But rather than celebrate in style, France started sloppily in a Group H qualifier packed with decisive errors in Paris.

Clement Lenglet handed Moldova's Vadim Rata the opener, but Raphael Varane profited from Alexei Koselev's mistake, before Olivier Giroud sealed victory from the penalty spot.

With France still battling for seeding in the Euros draw, head coach Deschamps was concerned by the substandard early display.

"I do not think [qualifying explains a poor performance] and I hope not because it's not enough to be qualified," he said. "The possibility of finishing first remained with a victory.

"We conceded the goal on an error, but our first half was insufficient. I am not satisfied with the attacking play in the first period.

"The second was more consistent, even if we lacked efficiency. We had 17 attempts, not always on target. But in the first half, we had too few.

"There was a tendency to ask for the ball only to feet and not in behind. There was not enough movement and availability. It was too static, there was a lack of mobility."

Deschamps confirmed he had delivered some home truths at half-time, adding: "I can sometimes be hard, very hard with them

"There is so much potential in this team that, when I do not see what I want to see, I say it."

France marked their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-1 victory as Olivier Giroud's penalty ended Moldova’s resistance at Stade de France.

Turkey's draw with Iceland earlier on Thursday had lifted any pressure off France, guaranteeing their place at next year's tournament, and Didier Deschamps' side put in a rather underwhelming display in Paris.

With no requirement to win, France made a sloppy start - calamitous Clement Lenglet defending handing Vadim Rata a chance to put Moldova ahead.

Alexei Koselev's error gifted Raphael Varane an equaliser, though, and France moved top of Group H when Giroud sent Moldova's goalkeeper the wrong way after Lucas Digne had been scythed down.

Against the run of play, Moldova hit the front in the ninth minute as Lenglet twice failed to clear with attempted headers - Rata nipping in to steer the visitors into an unlikely lead.

Benjamin Pavard went close to an immediate equaliser with a dipping half-volley, while Giroud should have done better from Digne's cross.

Giroud did play a part in France's leveller 10 minutes before the break, standing his ground as Koselev - who wanted a free-kick - let the ball slip from his grasp, allowing Varane on hand to head home.

Kylian Mbappe seemed set to make it 2-1 early in the second half, only for his goal-bound strike to be blocked by a Moldova defender, before Giroud volleyed over from close range.

For all their domination, France's efforts looked likely to prove fruitless, until Veaceslav Posmac's reckless lunge on Digne.

Giroud made no mistake, slamming in his third goal in as many appearances to complete the comeback with 11 minutes remaining.

 

What does it mean? France join the party

France's qualification was already ensured, meaning Les Bleus - beaten finalists at Euro 2016 - will now take part in their 13th successive major international competition, and Deschamps' focus will now be on securing top spot in Group H.

Giroud's run rolls on

He may not be getting much of a chance at Chelsea, but Giroud is one of the first names on Deschamps' team sheet and, while he missed some presentable chances, still kept up his fine run of form on the international stage.

Lenglet left red-faced - but Koselev lets him off the hook

Barcelona centre-back Lenglet should have coped comfortably with a high ball by heading it back to Steve Mandanda, but Koselev helped France recover, the keeper fazed by Giroud’s presence to gift Varane an equaliser.

What's next?

Les Bleus round off their qualification campaign against Albania on Sunday, while Moldova host Iceland.

Anthony Martial is still very much part of France's plans going forward despite missing out on selection this time around, says head coach Didier Deschamps.

Manchester United forward Martial has been in fine form for the Red Devils since returning from the thigh injury that ruled him out for two months three weeks ago.

The 23-year-old has scored three goals in his past six outings and has linked well with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James at Old Trafford.

However, Martial – whose last international appearance came in a friendly against Russia in March 2018 – has again been omitted for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Moldova and Albania.

Deschamps, though, says he is likely to be included in the future.

"He was part of the French team on a regular basis, but recently he was often injured," he said. 

"He came back not so long ago and it's going well in his role as a central striker with Manchester United.

"But for a long time he's been part of the players likely to be called." 

Olivier Giroud is included despite the experienced striker's limited game time for Chelsea this season.

The 33-year-old has made just six appearances and played just 120 minutes of Premier League football.

Giroud continues to be selected regularly by Deschamps, the former Arsenal forward having earned his trust.

"Maybe that means something but it's mostly what happened on the pitch that means something," he added. 

"If he is the one I used the most, do not forget either the ratio of matches and goals. 

"There are not many in front of him in terms of goals in the history of the France team. He did the right thing, he answered the trust."

Deschamps also expects Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe to be fit to feature even though he missed the 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Brest on Saturday with a muscular issue.

"He [Mbappe] has not arrived yet, [but] will be there," Deschamps said. "There was a communication between the two doctors on the fact it was a precaution.

"There was no particular concern compared to our deadline of Thursday."

France have called up Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi to replace the injured Blaise Matuidi for this month's final Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Juventus star Matuidi was diagnosed with a rib problem during medical tests in Turin on Monday, having played 70 minutes of Sunday's 1-0 Serie A win over AC Milan.

"The midfielder today underwent an MRI scan, which showed a fracture of the cartilage of the 10th rib," Juve said in a statement.

"I'm unfortunately out of the squad," Matuidi wrote earlier on Twitter.

"But I'm certain that France will get qualification. I'm looking forward to coming back for the next dates."

The French Football Federation confirmed Guendouzi will link up with the squad at Clairefontaine later on Monday.

The reigning world champions will qualify for Euro 2020 from Group H if they beat Moldova in Paris on Thursday, or if Iceland fail to win against Turkey.

"Qualifying has never historically been simple for Les Bleus," head coach Didier Deschamps told reporters on Monday.

"We only took one point from six against Turkey, but the main objective is to qualify.

"It's our goal to finish first, but that's not in our hands anymore because of Turkey. But even if we're first, we wouldn't necessarily be seeded for the draw [for the finals]."

France finish their qualifying campaign with an away game against Albania on November 17.

Zinedine Zidane raised the issue of Karim Benzema's continued absence from the France team again on Friday ahead of Real Madrid's trip to Eibar.

Benzema has been one of Europe's outstanding strikers during a 10-year Madrid career, yet he has not represented his country since 2015.

The Madrid frontman has not featured at international level since he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his then-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Zidane claims Benzema still wants to represent France, though, and believes his player to be "the best" and worthy of a call-up.

"He's always wanted to play for the French side," Zidane told a news conference. "To be honest, I don't know exactly what's going on.

"But from a football point of view, he's the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It's beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up."

Benzema scored his 50th Champions League goal for Madrid in midweek, surpassing the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano on the club's all-time list in the process.

Antoine Griezmann will go on to enjoy a successful Barcelona career, Didier Deschamps believes, adding he has no concerns over the forward's form.

Griezmann left Atletico Madrid for Barca in a €120million deal in the close season, but he has failed to find his best form so far at Camp Nou.

Having played predominantly out wide rather than in the central role he occupies for France and used to fulfil for Atleti, the 28-year-old has four LaLiga goals in 10 appearances this term.

However, Deschamps has no concerns over Griezmann, claiming he simply needs more time to adapt to life at his new club.

"Not at all. Even if you have great players at Barcelona, it doesn't happen in a day. It depends on how they play, how they work with each other," Deschamps told a news conference after again selecting Griezmann for international duty.

"Also, he's put in different positions than the ones he has with France, even though he played [wide] a long time ago.

"He must fit in, the other players as well. He didn't choose the easiest solution and it's a big club, so the expectations are huge. He's always part of a team, but he's not used to it yet.

"Even when he's not as good, he's always positive for the team. With us, it's a different situation, different position, he can play at his best position where I've put him a long time ago. Of course, he has a very important role in how we play."

Another forward who has made the cut for France and has been a pivotal player under Deschamps is Olivier Giroud.

Giroud has made just four Premier League appearances for Chelsea so far this season, with Frank Lampard preferring Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi to the 33-year-old, who has been restricted to 211 minutes of club action across all competitions.

However, the former Arsenal striker remains a key player for France, scoring against Iceland and Turkey in October.

"I picked him last month because of what he did in the past. He's an important player for us. He proves it on the pitch," said Deschamps, who again stressed the importance of Giroud getting more game time. 

"When he scores, it's good for him. It happens quite frequently and, even when he doesn't score, he's an important player for us.

"Sadly, the situation hasn't evolved for him, but he is there because I trust him, because of what he has done in the past and in October. Of course, and he knows it, I hope the situation will change with his club for our games in March.

"He needs to play, even though he is very fit, he needs to be more on the pitch."

Benjamin Mendy has been handed a recall for France's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Moldova and Albania.

The Manchester City full-back was given the nod over Real Madrid counterpart Ferland Mendy when France's squad was announced on Thursday.

Coach Didier Deschamps named a 23-man selection which includes Kylian Mbappe, who has not featured for his country since June amid injury problems.

Similar issues have hindered Benjamin Mendy, though to a much greater extent, the former Monaco star having required knee surgery during his stop-start time at the Etihad Stadium.

Benjamin Mendy last appeared at international level in the Nations League last September.

Nabil Fekir, who was absent for the previous two international matches, also returns, and N'Golo Kante is included.

Injury meant midfielder Kante could not feature in the previous international break, though he did not return to Chelsea until after the second fixture, frustrating Frank Lampard.

There is no place in the squad for Barcelona duo Ousmane Dembele or Samuel Umtiti, while Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba and Lucas Hernandez are all sidelined. 

France sit joint-top of Group H alongside Turkey, boasting a four-point lead over third-placed Iceland with two matches remaining.

Moldova visit the Stade de France on November 14, and France conclude their qualifying campaign in Albania on November 17.
 

France squad: Alphonse Areola (Real Madrid), Mike Maignan (Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Nabil Fekir (Real Betis), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Antoine Griezmann said France feel "sad" after producing one of their best performances in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Turkey.

France were denied qualification for next year's European Championships following a 1-1 draw at home to Turkey in Paris.

Substitute Olivier Giroud looked to have booked France's ticket to Euro 2020 with a 78th-minute header, however, the world champions' celebrations were put on hold by Kaan Ayhan's late equaliser.

Reflecting on the Group H stalemate, star Griezmann told reporters: "We are a little sad, a little weird, because we made a great match, one of our best.

"We open the scoring on a corner, but we still took that goal on a set kick, there is a little bit of anger, but we will be calm again. We have to learn from our mistakes, that we are not perfect.

"We had to come back stronger, the coach told us he was happy with us and we had a great match, we still have two games and we have to win them. to win, but it's a shame."

The result left France second in Group H, adrift of leaders Turkey on their head-to-head record after eight matches.

"They had scored a goal in the same way that they did the first game," head coach Didier Deschamps told M6. "We could have avoided it even if it is very well taken shot.

"It was necessary to win in terms of play, opportunities, they had little but they scored on set-pieces. We had enough opportunities, we only scored that goal from Olivier, it could have been decisive.

"We did not win ... When I say that it is the result that counts. We have the same number of points, it is the two best teams in the group. It's always complicated, it's a long road. This team has been very defensive but deserves to have that place too."

Turkey head coach Senol Gunes, meanwhile, added: "One point is already good for us. I congratulate my players. It is very good to return to Turkey as leaders. 

"We played against a very strong opponent. They were better than us, they had a lot of opportunities but we made a lot of effort."

France head coach Didier Deschamps refused to be drawn into the geopolitical controversy surrounding Turkey's national team ahead of Monday's Euro 2020 qualification showdown.

Some of Turkey's players gave a military-style salute after Cenk Tosun's winning goal against Albania in Istanbul on Friday – actions that have been widely interpreted as a gesture of a support of the armed offensive against Kurds in Syria.

UEFA is looking into the matter but Deschamps wishes to focus squarely upon securing the victory that would secure a place at next year's finals for the world champions.

"We know the importance of the match. It's a confrontation against an opponent who has the same number of points as us," he told a pre-match news conference for the game at the Stade de France.

"There will be a good atmosphere, that's obvious. As for the geopolitical problems, they are there but we will not think about that.

"We are in a sporting sphere. We must stay focused on it.

"I will not go into this debate [about Turkey's goal celebration]. What interests me is just the match."

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane was similarly one-track in his assessment of opponents who prevailed when they last met at the Torku Arena in June

"It [the celebration controversy] is not something that concerns us. We, we have an extra motivation, which is due to the pitch and our bad performance at Konya," he said.

"We want to make a great football match and give pleasure to the fans. And to qualify of course."

However, Deschamps feels being motivated solely by a desire for revenge would be counter-productive against a foe he rates highly.

"There is never revenge. We will not recover points that we lost," he said. "They beat us at home and that's another game.

"It's just a match that can be decisive. We have to make things happen differently this time.

"There is nothing positive to keep for us from that game at Konya, except Hugo Lloris' performance. We failed and they were very good. But it will not necessarily be the same match.

"Turkey are a team that has 18 points and they did not steal them. They are efficient and strong.

"They have only conceded two goals [during qualification] from set pieces. They have interesting offensive potential also with [Burak] Yilmaz, [Cenk] Tosun and [Hakan] Calhanoglu.

"They are experienced and animated by a state of mind and a passion. They've played some very good matches, especially against us. They have character."

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