France have the world’s best youngsters: Lizarazu
France have the best young players in the world, according to French former World Cup and European Championship winner Bixente Lizarazu.
When he picks his squad for June's World Cup in Russia, Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps has the luxury of selecting from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, 19, Anthony Martial, 22, Ousmane Dembele, 20, Thomas Lemar, 22, Kingsley Coman, 21, and Adrien Rabiot, 22.
But with that glittering array of young talent comes inexperience, warned Lizarazu, who was part of the Les Bleus teams that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship .
"(In terms of talent), France are in the top four, with Germany, Brazil and Spain," said the 48-year-old, who is here for the Bayern Youth Cup at Our Tampines Hub this weekend.
"We have the best young talent, but at the World Cup, you also need experience and France are not experienced. Germany are more experienced.
"Maybe the only weakness of France is inexperience.
"Experience is very important because to win the World Cup, you must win four important (knock-out) games.
"It's not easy to stay focused and play at your top level for four games. It's not a question of playing (at that level for) one (game), everyone can do that."
France have yet to win a tournament since Lizarazu and company won the Euros two years after their maiden World Cup victory.
They have come close twice, losing in the final of both World Cup 2006 and Euro 2016.
But they have also endured embarrassing group-stage exits at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups and Euro 2008.