Following its early exit from Euro 2020, France will take on Belgium in the Tournament for the Nations League semi-final on Thursday.
World champions France were favorites to win the European Championships this summer but failed to brighten up the tournament despite having a world-class squad.
Their elimination in the last 16 on penalties at the hands of Switzerland – after a 3-1 lead with a 15-minute lead – was a major setback, and had some results inside the French camp.
On Tuesday, Sports Daily L’Equipe published a lengthy interview with star forward Kylian Mbappe, whose spot-kick gave Switzerland a memorable victory in one of the matches of the tournament. He said he would like “more support” after his shootout failed.
“What surprised me was, once again, being called a monkey for a fine,” Mbappe said.
“That’s why I wanted help, not because I hit the sentence to the left and (Yan) Sommer saved it.”
Mbabane also said he could have had more support from his teammates after losing the penalty, but on Tuesday vice-captain Rafael Varane insisted that the team support each other.
“We are together when things are going well and things are not going well,” Manchester United defender Varane told reporters.
“We take things together, we don’t leave anyone behind. That’s our philosophy, and it’s not going to change.”
France enter the match with an unbeaten run, their first victory since five draws with a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Finland last month.
He will miss midfield Dynamo Ngolo Kante after signing for the Cove 19 during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Juventus last week.
“We should not play this match, it has replaced the friendly fixtures that were not very popular,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.
“We know we are here with a goal and unlike other competitions we are already in the semi-finals.”
Belgium will also try to bounce back on the team’s turf with their Euro campaign, which knocked them out of the tournament in the quarter-finals.
Roberto Martinez’s team may be better than France’s in the summer, but it was more disappointing for the team to be ranked number one in the world.
The Red Devils’ only major sporting achievement is gold at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, and the golden race of athletes fell short in both the Euro and the last World Cup, where they lost to France in the semi-finals.
“They have six or seven players with more than 100 hats, who have been there for a very long time,” Deschamps said.
“It’s not that they’re ranking the best team in the world. They’re well-organized, they’re young players who stand out, but they’re a hub of very experienced players who put them in the best teams in Europe and the world. Makes one.
“This is a very good generation of players who have not yet experienced the joy of winning the tournament.”