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'France have seven musketeers in attack' - Papin thrilled by forward talent and return of 'wild card' Benzema

5:03 PM MYT 14/06/2021
Karim Benzema Kylian Mbappe France
The former Les Bleus striker thinks Didier Deschamps' side have the "firepower" to go all the way at Euro 2020

France have "seven musketeers in attack", according to Jean-Pierre Papin, who has expressed his excitement over the forward talent in his country's ranks and the return of "wild card" Karim Benzema.

Les Bleus are being billed as the favourites to win Euro 2020, with Didier Deschamps having named a star-studded squad for the tournament as they seek to go one better than their final appearance five years ago.

Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, Wissam Ben Yedder and Karim Benzema all made the final cut, with Papin left in awe by the attacking riches at Deschamps' disposal.

What's been said?

The former France international told German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung: "We have seven musketeers in attack. There is enough firepower."

Papin added on Real Madrid star Benzema's return to Deschamps' squad after a six-year exile: "If you are one of the best players in Europe, then you have your place in the national team.

"For me, he was the most consistent attacker in Europe alongside Robert Lewandowski.

"Whether with Benzema or without, not a single piece of the puzzle was missing. Benzema is a plus - like a wild card."

Who will France play in the group stage?

France will open their latest European Championship campaign with a heavyweight Group F clash against Germany at Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday night.

The reigning world champions will then look forward to fixtures against Hungary and Portugal, who beat them in the 2016 final, as they bid to qualify for the knockout stages.

Papin on Mbappe & Giroud rift

The only issue threatening to derail France at the moment is the rising tension between Mbappe and Giroud in the wake of their final warm-up victory against Bulgaria last Tuesday.

Giroud accused his team-mates of not passing him the ball after the 3-0 win, with Mbappe subsequently expressing his unhappiness with the Chelsea star for criticising him publicly.

Papin is certain that Deschamps will be able to mend relations between the pair, though, having seen how tough he can be first-hand during their playing days together at Marseille in the 1980s.

"Deschamps is so experienced that I trust him to cope with it," he said. "He was more than just a player. He was someone who pulled everyone along.

"He talked a lot and almost everything he said made sense. That gave him a natural authority that he kept as a coach."

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