France not in the top eight - Deschamps cool on World Cup prospects

Les Bleus scraped through to Brazil with a play-off win over Ukraine and their coach is realistic over this summer's tournament
France coach Didier Deschamps believes his nation are not even in the top eight contenders for the World Cup in Brazil.

Les Bleus only qualified for the tournament following a stunning comeback in the second leg of their play-off tie against Ukraine.

That performance has raised hopes they could be dark horses to win the tournament this summer, but Deschamps has offered a realistic assessment in a bid to dampen expectations.

He said: "If you said that France were going to be world champions, it would be a lie. The reality is that we are not in the top eight sides in the world.

"But that does not mean we can't beat a team that is stronger than us. It has been proven against Ukraine, we are capable of producing a great performance."

France's last World Cup campaign was blighted by indiscipline, with Nicolas Anelka, Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan all banned for refusing to train following a dispute with former boss Raymond Domenech.

But Deschamps says he is not concerned by the spotlight that will undoubtedly be placed upon his players and insists he is comfortable in making tough decisions should he be forced to.

"The players previously did not have a good relationship with the national side," he added. "Now they have it, they have a duty to leave the French public with beautiful emotions.

"They will have to give passion and commitment to represent France. I'm not immune to disciplinary problems and it's up to me to make strong choices. It's my responsibility."