September 19, 2021

SportsOnly

Football and other sports news

There is more to come from France – Didier Deschamps

2 min read

France manager Didier Deschamps warned their Euro 2020 rivals there is plenty more to come from the world champions ahead of the knockout stage.

A 2-2 draw with Portugal ensured Les Bleus finished top of Group F with five points and set up a meeting in the round of 16 with Switzerland on Monday.

Karim Benzema’s double cancelled out a brace of Cristiano Ronaldo penalties but France were far from their best with Kylian Mbappe still to get off the mark and Everton defender Lucas Digne set to join Ousmane Dembele in being ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury.

Deschamps said: “In terms of points, we are first. Maybe other teams gave a better impression than the French team but now it is a new competition that starts.

“The first match against Germany was really important for us and to win this one point against Hungary allowed us even before this match to be qualified but as I said to the players we don’t want to do any calculations because we don’t want to take any risks.

“We have seen everything could change very quickly in this group. Of course we didn’t do everything well all the time and we can improve some things.”

A positive for France was Benzema scoring his first international goals since 2015 after the Real Madrid forward received a surprise recall before the European Championships got under way and he was happy to silence the doubters.

He added: “I knew as soon as I would be in the national team, the critics would come out – that is part of the football game but I never give up.

“As soon as I put my feet on the pitch I want to score and today I managed to do that. But I am training a lot. It was always like that, even when I was a little kid.

“Today everyone was waiting for this goal and that was some kind of extra motivation for me. Of course there is another pressure than when you play for your club because it is your whole country but for me it is a great pleasure.”

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