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France's Dimitri Payet unconvinced Deschamps will pick him for Euro 2016

Dimitri Payet's free kick will live long in the memory as France were 4-2 winners over Russia at the Stade de France.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley pinpoints Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema as difference-makers for France heading into Euro 2016.

West Ham sensation Dimitri Payet is unsure whether his efforts for club and country have impressed national team manager Didier Deschamps enough to be included in France's Euro 2016 squad.

The attacking midfielder, who joined the Hammers from Marseille in a £10.7 million deal in June, has been a revelation in the Premier League this season -- scoring eight goals and adding eight assists in 23 matches.

The 29-year-old carried that fine form into Tuesday night's 4-2 international friendly win over Russia, scoring an exquisite free kick with his first touch of the ball after being subbed on by Deschamps in the 62nd minute.

Asked after the match if his goal had effectively booked his place to the Euros, Payet responded: "I do not know. It is up to the coach to judge.

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"I have tried, as I do in every game, to contribute something. It was a positive performance, I am pleased with it.

"I am relaxed, as I have been since the start of the season. I am working hard and being efficient with my club. Today, my hard work paid off."

Payet, who shared a birthday on Tuesday with fellow goalscorer N'Golo Kante, said that the goal was the perfect way to cap off what has been an enjoyable first season in England.

"Playing in a match, let alone scoring, on your birthday is something that does not happen often," Payet said. "My family were here tonight, which makes me even happier. We are going to go and celebrate together.

"It has been a good season, so far. In England, I have put myself in the best conditions to flourish. Today, I want to thank my club teammates, my national team and my supporters, who show me a lot of love.

"Today, my hard work paid off. These two matches have gone now, we are going to enjoy this evening and then club life starts again tomorrow, so we will not have too much time to reflect."

Kante, starting his first match for Les Bleus, echoed Payet's sentiments, saying that scoring a birthday goal in front of friends and family was a dream come true.

The former Caen man, who was a virtual unknown before joining surprise Premier League front-runners Leicester before the start of the season, may well end the season with a champion's medal and a spot in France's starting XI.

Dimitri Payet scored a sensational free kick with his first touch in France's 4-2 win over Russia on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old, however, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.

"To score a goal on my first start at Stade de France, it is fantastic," Kante said. "I would not have even thought of it before.

"Scoring on my birthday, I could not have imagined that. My teammates congratulated me and told me that I gave myself the perfect gift. I am happy, it has gone well.

"On top of that, we also won. Not everything was perfect though, we must continue to work hard. I am glad I was called up.

"It is a good squad. I got to mingle with some great players, so I learned a lot. It was a beautiful experience.

"It has encouraged me to do better for my club when I return there. Euro 2016 is another thing, there is time left. We will see."


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