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France, Germany are World Cup favourites

World Cup
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Fekir ready to be Zidane's heir?

France
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 By Simon Kuper

For Kylian Mbappe, the world's best player under 20, life moves pretty fast

Get all the stats and storylines from the biggest matchup of the round of 16.

BONDY, France -- When people try to describe Kylian Mbappe, they usually compare him to Thierry Henry: the child of a poor Parisian satellite town, a winger supreme both on the square inch and in a 20-yard sprint, who went from AS Monaco to greatness.

But try that story on Mbappe's youth coaches and they're outraged. In their dingy office in Bondy, a bus ride from rich Paris but a world away, Antonio Riccardi and Jean-François Suner shake their heads and take turns shouting out protests:...

 By Simon Kuper

From Pogba to Mbappe: Why Greater Paris is the world's top talent pool

Dan Thomas and the FC crew believe the top-seeded countries will all be delighted with their matchups at the World Cup.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti predicts who will emerge from each group at the 2018 World Cup.

PARIS -- Nearly a decade ago, Arsene Wenger ranked the Paris region as the second-best talent pool in soccer after Sao Paulo in Brazil. But by now, the French capital surely ranks top.

Here are just a few of today's players raised in Greater Paris: Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, N'Golo Kante, Kingsley Coman, Blaise Matuidi and Kylian Mbappe, plus three other regular Paris Saint-Germain starters, the Algerian internationals Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi, and various Senegalese and Moroccan internationals...

 By Nick Miller

World Cup Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

ESPN's Julien Laurens believes France will be very happy after drawing Australia, Peru and Denmark.

In all honesty, you would probably fancy a France B-team to do pretty well in this group. The amount of talent Didier Deschamps has to choose from can surely only be held back by Deschamps himself, a limited manager who nonetheless has won himself a new contract ahead of this tournament.

They will surely top the group, and second place looks likely to be a scrap between the rest. Denmark are a solid collective with one outstanding talent in Christian Eriksen, but Australia are still looking for...

World Cup favourites France and Germany look to set marker of success

Shaka Hislop and Mark Donaldson look at France's new generation of players and who the best natural leader is.

France and Germany meet on Tuesday in an international friendly, with both teams favourites to win the World Cup next year. Ahead of the game, Julien Laurens and Raphael Honigstein got to talking ...

Julien gets the debate going:

Raf, I was thinking of you the other day when someone asked me about the France vs. Germany semifinal at Euro 2016.

We were both there in Marseille and it was a special evening. The noise inside the Stade Velodrome was incredible and France played in a clinical way...

Who will lead France's next generation: Griezmann, Pogba or Mbappe?

Shaka Hislop and Mark Donaldson look at France's new generation of players and who the best natural leader is.

In its long history, the French national team has only ever achieved great things in the way of one outstanding leader. In 1958, les Bleus had Raymond Kopa and finished third at the World Cup. Michel Platini guided his team to triumph at Euro 1984 and two World Cup semifinals in 1982 and 1986. Just over 20 years later, it was Zinedine Zidane's turn to lead France to success with the 1998 World Cup, the 2000 Euros and then take the team to the 2006 World Cup final as well.

Of course, all of them...

 By Chris Wright

Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud takes on Welsh language

Olivier Giroud has been busy preparing for France's friendly against Wales on Friday evening by attempting to master a key few Welsh phrases.

During a prematch news conference, Giroud took part in an impromptu language lesson with the aid of a Welsh journalist in attendance, who taught the the Arsenal striker how to say "Good evening" and "Thank-you very much" in her native tongue.

Not a bad effort for a first-timer, though the pronunciation definitely needs a bit of work.

Les Bleus are set to take...