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France gain confidence with Russia win, but Deschamps has issues to fix

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.
Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe led the way for France in their comfortable 3-1 win over Russia in St. Petersburg.

This time Didier Deschamps didn't shout at his players, lose his temper or raise his voice. Four days after France's embarrassing 3-2 defeat at home against Colombia -- when the manager was let down by the complacency and arrogance of his men -- he saw them beat World Cup hosts Russia 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Those two games were supposed to help Deschamps' decision making process before the announcement of his World Cup squad. Instead, it will be much harder than he thought.

There are actually more...

France issues vs. Colombia give Didier Deschamps a major problem

France surged to an early lead against Colombia, but the visitors stormed back at Stade de France to earn their first ever win against Les Bleus.

PARIS, France -- Manager Didier Deschamps was absolutely livid after his France side let a two-goal lead slip to fall to a 3-2 defeat against Colombia on Friday evening at the Stade de France.

Sources told ESPN FC that he laid into his players in the dressing room, labelling their second half performance "unacceptable" and slammed their attitude, lack of effort and lack of concentration. He made sure to add that if they play like this at the World Cup in the summer they won't go far!

Deschamps rarely...

Carlos Valderrama: I will cut my hair if Colombia win the World Cup

Carlos Valderrama said he will cut his famous hair if Colombia win the World Cup.

Carlos Valderrama promised he will cut his curly blonde hair if Colombia win the World Cup this summer.

Colombia will meet Japan in their World Cup opener on June 19 and also face Poland and Senegal in Group H.

Los Cafeteros did not appear at a World Cup from 2002 until 2010 but reached the quarterfinals four years ago -- their best finish in the competition -- before being eliminated by hosts Brazil.

Valderrama, 56, was asked if he would cut his famous hair if Colombia lifted the trophy in Russia.

"If...

Falcao, James Rodriguez hope to take Colombia further in 2018

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

NOTE: This is translated from an original piece for ESPN Argentina.

One hundred days before Brazil 2014, Colombia's World Cup hopes were dashed by an injury to the team's biggest star, Radamel Falcao. The Tricolor was preparing their World Cup return after 12 long years but the wait was tinged with anguish. There was even speculation about the fatigue that would weigh upon them with or without the player from Santa Marta, who was finally forced to withdraw from contention. But Jose Pekerman's...

 By Tim Vickery

Franco Armani, Juan Quintero bring World Cup intrigue to River Plate

Keeper Franco Armani, a favorite at Atletico Nacional before arriving at River Plate, could get a look from Argentina's World Cup side.

Nearly 70 years ago, the great Alfredo Di Stefano left Buenos Aires giants River Plate and headed north to Colombia to play for Millonarios of Bogota. It was an important stage of a career that then took him to Real Madrid, where, as the European Cup (now Champions League) was launched, he became perhaps the most influential player European club football has ever seen. Now Colombia is returning the favour. Two of the most intriguing imports to Argentine football this year are a couple of River Plate...

 By Tim Vickery

Yerry Mina's build, physical style make him an intriguing target for Barcelona

ESPN FC'S Steve Nicol talks whether or not players are able to resist the temptation of playing for Real Madrid, Barcelona or PSG.

The January transfer window is usually quiet, but Barcelona are spending big; after making Philippe Coutinho the second most expensive player in the world, they are now adding 23-year-old giant Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina to their squad.

The fee might be tiny in comparison to Coutinho. The outlay is a €11.8 million. But it is a lot more than they would have had to pay just over two years ago, when Mina was available at a cut price of €1m.

He was still in Colombian football then....