Didier Deschamps and his conservative tactics were vindicated as the French team (2nd youngest in the tournament) were the most complete unit. Their displays at Russia 2018 were a masterclass in how a team goes through the gears and retains its compact nature in tournament football.
France’s depth in central defence is scary and a source of envy for other nations. Aymeric Laporte, Abdou Diallo (just joined Borussia Dortmund), Moukhtar Diakhaby (just joined Valencia), Malang Sarr, Dayot Upamecano, Issa Diop (just joined West Ham), Clement Lenglet (new Barcelona defender) are some of the talented, U-25 centre-backs waiting in reserve.
Varane (25), Samuel Umtiti (24) and Presnel Kimpembe (22) were the centre-backs who featured in Russia and look to be the manager’s first choice options for the foreseeable future.
Deschamps has successfully thrown away the old infighting, arrogance, and cliques that used to hold France back (the 2002 and 2006 World Cups were particularly disgraceful).
With the backing of the French Football Federation (FFF) and given the pool of talented players, this might just be the start of Les Bleus‘ reign as world football’s top dogs; basically, the new golden generation that might exceed Spain’s legendary accomplishments.