Les Bleus

Crystal Palace confirm Patrick Vieira as new manager on three-year deal

Crystal Palace have confirmed Patrick Vieira as the club’s new manager on a three-year deal that will take the Frenchman through 2024 at Selhurst Park. The Arsenal legend, who was previously coach of Nice until his dismissal in December last year, will succeed Roy Hodgson in the hotseat in south London. The 45-year-old, who began his coaching career with New York City FC in Major League Soccer, takes charge for the first time in the Premier League, having made his name as one of the game’s greatest midfielders during an electrifying decade-long spell with the Gunners. Though forever linked with Les Bleus’ 1998 World Cup triumph on home soil back home, Vieira remains forever associated in the British sporting consciousness as the anchor of Arsneal’s superb period of success under Arsene Wen...

Antoine Griezmann: Karim Benzema will end goal drought soon

Karim Benzema needs just one goal to get up and running for France again, says team-mate Antoine Griezmann. The striker approached Euro 2020 off the back of an excellent season at Real Madrid, having scored 30 goals in 46 matches, but Benzema is yet to find the net since making his return to the France squad after a six-year absence. Griezmann is confident the 33-year-old will start scoring regularly for Les Bleus before long, insisting he just needs one to get him going. “I think each attacker wants to score the first goal and the quicker he does that, the better it is for everybody,” Griezmann said at a press conference. “As soon as Karim gets one in the net, that will help him. We just need to be patient and remain confident. “You know me, I feel a lot better in the centre, I feel a lot...

Euro 2020: Wales set for hostile crowd as Italy eye knockouts

Wales are bracing for a hostile reception when they face Turkey in Baku at Euro 2020 on Wednesday while rejuvenated Italy can seal their place in the last-16 with victory against Switzerland. After drawing 1-1 with the Swiss in their opening Group A game, Wales play in the capital of Azerbaijan, with locals expected to get behind their Turkish neighbours, who will also have several thousand travelling fans on their side. Wales captain Gareth Bale, who experienced a dizzying run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, said he was unfazed by the prospect of an aggressive atmosphere. “Hostility is no problem,” said the Real Madrid forward. “This is what we do for a living. We’re used to playing in away games and being in front of hostile crowds.” Turkey are desperate to shake off the disappointment ...

France coach fires warning ahead of Euro 2020 opener

Didier Deschamps has attempted to play down the hype surrounding his France side going to the European Championship, warning those who think they “have already won” that plenty of hard work lies ahead. The 2018 World Cup winners are favourites to land this summer’s tournament, with Deschamps possessing a hugely talented squad with depth in all areas. That has understandably caused excitement among the supporters across the country, something Deschamps is keen to temper before the big kick-off. Asked whether not winning the tournament would be considered a failure given the talent at his disposal, Deschamps told Mundo Deportivo: “Right away there is talk of failure. We are world champions. I am aware, and the players are too, of our strengths. “We have quality, talent, high-level players, b...

Paul Pogba: N’Golo Kante star is a ‘smart kid’ and a ‘cunning’ player

N’Golo Kante “cheats a lot”, according to Paul Pogba, who has described the Chelsea star as a “smart kid” and a “cunning” player. Kante has established himself as one of the top midfielders in Europe since joining Leicester City from Caen in 2015, helping the Foxes win the Premier League title before also going on to lift the trophy with Chelsea. The 30-year-old has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name too, having been part of the triumphant 2018 France squad alongside Pogba, who has now revealed that his compatriot will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means bending the rules. The Manchester United talisman told beIN Sports of his international colleague: “He cheats a lot. A lot. At card games, board games. Honestly, I’m telling the truth. He cheats. “He says he doesn’t cheat, bu...

WCQ: Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele returns to France squad

Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has been rewarded for his upturn in form with a recall to the France squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The 24-year-old hasn’t featured for Les Bleus since the summer of 2019 but now has the chance to add to his six international caps in matches against Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Other notable returnees include Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Lemar, who hasn’t featured since November 2019, while Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, a member of their 2018 World Cup-winning squad, is back for the first time in two-and-a-half years. This represents Ndombele’s first international call up since his club-record €60 million (£54m/$68m) move from Lyon to Tottenham. The Frenchman arrived in north London with a reputation as an all-action midf...