World Cup - Deschamps senses 'spirit of 1998' amongst France squad

France's calm destruction of Switzerland gathered plaudits around the globe, but of course nobody was more pleased than their coach Didier Deschamps.

Eurosport
World Cup - Deschamps senses 'spirit of 1998' amongst France squad
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France's midfielder Moussa Sissoko (L) celebrates after scoring during a Group E football match between Switzerland and France

WHAT HAPPENED

Friday's 5-2 win over Switzerland all but secured safe passage into the knockout rounds as Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko all got on the scoresheet.

[MAGNIFICENT FRANCE CRUSH SWITZERLAND]

Benzema even missed a first-half penalty as France blew away their Swiss counterparts, who scored late consolation goals through Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka.

When it comes to World Cup success, Deschamps should know - as a player he captained the successful France squad in 1998 as well as the Euro 2000 winners.

In fact, he reckons his current squad remind him of their 1998 counterparts in terms of their attitude, and though he was quick to point out that mindset isn't enough to ensure success, he hinted his team could potentially go the distance this year.

[FRANCE IMPRESS BUT NEED REAL TEST]

WHAT DESCHAMPS SAID

"It is the same thing that we saw in 1998, while we cannot compare each changing room, I have a very focused group at present, they have a mindset that they want to maintain, even those who play less, there is a force that is rising. (While) this is not a guarantee of success, in addition to our qualities this mindset is very important."

[DESCHAMPS PAYS TRIBUTE TO DAZZLING BENZEMA]

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EUROSPORT'S VIEW

Deschamps's squad selection was questioned in some quarters - particularly his failure to pick Samir Nasri and his changes to his starting XI against Switzerland after the bad-tempered match with Honduras, leaving out Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, opting for Giroud and Sissoko in their places. But there's no doubt that on the evidence so far, his bold calls have been justified. This France squad are well drilled and dedicated to their coach and are real contenders.

BRAZIL BUZZ

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Obviously, there's one more game to go in the group stage and France play Ecuador on Wednesday. If, as expected, they cruise through that challenge and finish top of Group E, they'll then face whoever finishes second in Group F - likely to be Iran or Nigeria. That sets up a tasty-looking quarter-final with, most probably, Germany - who will be the biggest challenge Deschamps' squad has come up against so far in Brazil. That will surely be the test of whether or not the spirit of 1998 is truly alive and well in the class of 2014.

COMING UP

Lionel Messi and Argentina play their second game of the World Cup when facing Iran at 5pm, with the other game in the group coming at 11pm when Nigeria take on Bosnia-Herzegovina. In between, Germany look to build on their destruction of Portugal with a match against Ghana at 8pm.

[ARGENTINA V IRAN MATCHPACK]

[GERMANY V GHANA MATCHPACK]

[NIGERIA V BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA MATCHPACK]

BRAZIL BUZZ

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