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The former Bleus international says he is a keen admirer of the Blaugrana and that he is trying to get his troops to adopt a similar philosophy on the pitch

France boss Laurent Blanc has hailed Barcelona for the positive influence they have exerted on the game, declaring that "even in England, teams are now trying to play good football".

Speaking ahead of his country's meeting with Roy Hodgson's men, the former Bordeaux coach admitted that he has been greatly influenced by the Catalans, who are widely regarded as one of the finest club sides ever.

"Trying to play like Barca without Barca's players is risky," Blanc conceded in an interview with L'Equipe. "But our philosophy is to try to get close to it.

"Even in England teams try to play good passing football now. Norwich and Swansea have shown that mentalities are changing everywhere."

Blanc inherited a French side in disarray after a calamitious 2010 World Cup campaign which was marred by the threat of a player mutiny.

However, he has managed to unify the squad and Les Bleus have arrived in Ukraine as one of the form teams in world football, having gone undefeated in 21 games. The key, Blanc explains, was garnering the respect of the players.

"They use 'vous' when they speak to me," he revealed. "[Philippe] Mexes used 'tu' once and he could see I was surprised."

France's eagerly-awaited Group D clash with England will get under way at 18:00CET.

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