Deschamps: Italy are top-quality rivals to France

The ex-Marseille head coach has stressed that the result of Wednesday's match still matters even though it is only an international friendly
France head coach Didier Deschamps is eagerly anticipating Wednesday's international friendly against Italy, and expects a difficult encounter.

Les Bleus and the Azzurri have fought out a number of thrilling battles over the years, and the ex-Marseille boss has nothing but respect for the Euro 2012 finalists.

"It's a high-level encounter, the last [international] of the year. We are facing a top-quality rival but I want to see huge commitment from my players," Deschamps said at a press conference.

"It's a friendly, but it's true there is a rivalry even if it's less than in the past when there were lots of French players who played in Italy.

"But it's like any fixture against England, Brazil or Germany, there is more expectation. It's only a friendly, but the result will be important."

Wednesday's match is scheduled to kick off at 20:50 CET.