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Laurens: France's "Next XI"

Ligue 1

Pogba, France show superb maturity

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

The Next XIs: England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France's emerging stars

The latest international break has seen many top countries trying out their next generation of talent on the road to the 2018 World Cup. The need for regeneration is constant given injuries, loss of form and, simply, the passage of time. So how do the top five nations in Europe look for quality in this World Cup cycle and beyond?

We asked ESPN FC writers to pick the players we'll need to know about during the next decade. There's a lot to be excited about here.


Demarai Gray is remarkably raw but boasts the skills that could help England in the long run.

Gareth Southgate's...

France's "Next XI" boasts A+ depth beyond Kylian Mbappe, Adrien Rabiot

The FC guys discuss the rumours surrounding Kylian Mbappe and whether or not he's ready for a move to Real or Barca.

In the France squad that faced Spain on Tuesday evening at the Stade de France, 15 players are currently playing in Ligue 1, the most Didier Deschamps has ever picked. Fifteen of them are 25 or younger. It is the youngest squad called up by the manager since he took charge of the team in the summer of 2012. At an average age of 24, it's also one of the youngest squads in the country's long history.

The future is certainly very bright for France. Who else is set to break through in the coming years?

Rabiot and Mbappe go from country to club; PSG and Monaco go head-to-head

The FC guys discuss the rumours surrounding Kylian Mbappe and whether or not he's ready for a move to Real or Barca.

From friends to foes. Teammates to opponents. In the space of four days, Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe, two of the best prospects in French football, will go from starting together for the national team against Spain on Tuesday to facing each other in Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco's much-anticipated League Cup final in Lyon.

After 10 days spent together on international duty, alongside four club teammates each -- Alphonse Areola, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa and Blaise Matuidi from PSG; Thomas...

Video assistant referees are an imperfect but important solution

Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes discuss the notion that VAR delays will become a nuisance during matches.
Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes discuss the notion that VAR delays will become a nuisance during matches.
Antoine Griezmann thought he'd had the opener for France, but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the goal was offside.
International Friendly: Gerard Deulofeu (77'), France 0-2 Spain
Two of the biggest football countries were on display but it was Video Replay Technology that starred, disallowing one goal and overruling a linesman on another.

When France hosted Spain in a friendly on Tuesday night, the match offered the first "official" example of a video assistant referee (VAR) in a high-profile international. (The first instance was back at the FIFA Club World Cup in December ... and the first "unofficial" instance was probably this, even though we may never know for sure.)

VAR proponents could not have hoped for a better outcome.

Simply put, without VAR, this game would have finished in a 1-1 draw. Instead, Spain won 2-0. You don't...

Kylian Mbappe zooms past Messi and Ronaldo to continue stellar rise

Herve Renard, the Morocco head coach and former Ivory Coast, Sochaux and Lille manager, could not believe what he was seeing.

It was eight years ago and at the time he was coaching the small team of Cherbourg in the French fourth division. Before the game against Ivry, he saw this 8-year-old kid, nephew of the Ivory coach, having fun with the ball.

"Who is this phenomenon? He will become one of the best," said Renard.

It was Kylian Mbappe. A decade later, Renard's prediction is true -- the prodigious...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Pogba key to United's Griezmann move; Pato could triple wages in CSL

The winter transfer window is now in full swing! As usual, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to which rumours are picking up steam. Check out all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Pogba key to a Griezmann move to United

Jose Mourinho hopes to take advantage of Paul Pogba's friendship with Antoine Griezmann in order to convince the Atletico Madrid striker to move to Manchester United this summer.

The Daily Record reports that United failed to entice Griezmann last year,...