France flounder in first match without Antoine Griezmann for seven years

Griezmann’s world record of playing in 84 straight internationals ended on Saturday. France need him back soon

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Moving on in sport is never easy, even if the process is made easier by having the world’s best player at your disposal. France have an impressive recent record in international tournaments, having reached the finals in three of the last four, but their best performances – their elimination of Germany in 2016, their shackling of Belgium and Uruguay in 2018 – have been driven by canny midfielders who are full of running and self-sacrifice.

A hallmark of Didier Deschamps’ style, this was best exemplified by the leather-lunged Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kanté, but even Paul Pogba turned in workmanlike displays in the centre of the park. With Pogba banned, Matuidi retired and Kanté having swanned off to Saudi Arabia, his form undone by injuries, they require a succession plan.

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