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Mourinho backs France for World Cup

Jose Mourinho believes France have a squad possessing both the "quality and experience" needed to win the World Cup.

- Johnson: Time to shine

The Chelsea manager told Yahoo! that he will have ample opportunity to size up Didier Deschamps' men, while he feels Les Bleus could well have the measure of every other team in the competition.

"I think it's possible [France could win the World Cup]. The players play in the best teams in Europe," he said. "They have quality and experience. Didier Deschamps also has a lot of experience as a coach of top-level clubs. And the national team has won some big competitions."

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will be central to France's bid to win their second World Cup.

Benzema, 27, has been struggling to overcome an adductor injury sustained late in the La Liga season, and played no part as Les Bleus drew 1-1 with Paraguay in Nice on Sunday in their second warm-up friendly ahead of the tournament in Brazil.

Mourinho, who coached the former Lyon man during his three-year tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu, acknowledged he will be missed if he is not at 100 percent come the start of France's Group E campaign, when they face Honduras on June 15.

"I think he's a real great. Sometimes, we only look at a centre-forward as a goalscorer," he said. "But I think it's more than that. It's also a player who can bring other qualities. Benzema has scored a number of important goals. He plays very, very well, even in other positions. He also provides a lot of assists, which is very important. He's a great player."

Mourinho also lavished similar praise on Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who was left out of the France squad by Deschamps.

Reportedly a consequence of a poor attitude when not playing regularly, Nasri's omission raised eyebrows in England, where he helped his club to the Premier League title this season.

"Only Didier can explain the reasons for that decision," said Mourinho when asked to give his thoughts on the former Arsenal and Marseille man's absence. "I think Nasri is a great player, but Didier is a great coach. If he took that decision, it's because there were reasons. It's up to him to explain his decision, or not. I'm a coach, and you have to respect the decisions of other coaches."


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