France continued their unbeaten record since Euro 2012 with a 2-1 friendly win over Italy on Wednesday and coach Didier Deschamps believes it is a reward for Les Bleus' rich run of form.
Stephan El Shaarawy opened the scoring for Italy, but goals from Mathieu Valbuena and Bafe Gomis gave Deschamps his first friendly win as France boss.
Nearly one month after holding European Champions Spain, France defeated the Euro 2012 finalists to boost their ranking ahead of the new year.
Deschamps sees the result, despite playing an under-strength Italy side, as a strong sign for the future of French football.
"We met the European runners up, they put us into trouble, but we worked hard," Deschamps told TF1. "They could have levelled by the end. But it could hurt them late in the game with a third goal.
"This is a great result here, to a high-level team even if they missed a few players. This was our last game of the calendar year, finish with a victory in Italy will perhaps arrange our ranking. I congratulate the players, I tell them to enjoy because they have done it well to a great team. They are on a good run now."
Match-winner Bafetimbi Gomis broke his goalscoring drought for France and he responded to recent criticism that French players no longer take pride in playing for the national team.
"It was a moment since I found the net with Les Bleus," he said. "This was somewhere in my head. I really wanted to go and give everything to keep it 1-1 and why not take the edge. We're a sqaud working hard, combining well. Our spirit should be noticed. We are 23 and 23 ready to make efforts for our country."