Thomas Lemar hopes Antoine Griezmann will still be an Atletico Madrid player next season, while the winger accepts he has more work to do to fully adapt to life in LaLiga.

Griezmann rejected the overtures of Barcelona to remain with Diego Simeone's side, announcing his decision via a bizarre documentary in June last year.

However, Atleti have once again been off Barca's pace in the fight for the title in LaLiga, while their Champions League hopes were extinguished in the last 16 by Juventus.

That has led to renewed speculation that World Cup-winner Griezmann will depart for Camp Nou in a bid to assuage his desire to win the game's biggest prizes at club level.

Lemar, while urging Griezmann to stay, does not know what his France team-mate has planned, telling Telefoot: "If you want to know, you have to ask him.

"I do not know anything at all. I hope he stays, I just signed, I do not even ask the question for the moment."

Lemar scored an 85th-minute winner as Atleti left it late to down Eibar 1-0 at Ipurua on Saturday.

That was just Lemar's third goal in 26 LaLiga outings since joining from Monaco, while he has contributed only two assists to Atleti's top-flight cause.

Much was expected of a key player in the Monaco side that won Ligue 1 in the 2016-17 campaign, while he too has a World Cup winners' medal on his CV with France from Russia 2018.

And Lemar recognised the need for improvement in a new environment.

"I'm at a new club, I have to adapt to a new game system, a new league, and it does not happen overnight," he added.

"My season is not exceptional, but you have to be very alert defensively, it is the requirement of Atletico. 

"I'm not going to say that it's hard, but it's a strength that will allow me to go above and beyond.

"What can be said about me does not affect me too much. I know what I have to do. The club wanted me."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is not in the club's plans, though he refused to rule out a move for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

Griezmann was linked with Barca prior to the 2018 World Cup before committing his future to Atletico, however, speculation of a Camp Nou switch has resurfaced.

However, LaLiga champions Barca are not looking to sign the 28-year-old – who is contracted until 2023 – according to Bartomeu.

"[Griezmann] is an Atletico Madrid player and he has a contract [with them]," the Barcelona president told TVE.

"I like that the great players are in Spain because he gives value to LaLiga Santander [which helps], for example, to get sponsors.

"If Griezmann wanted to come, he would have to talk to the coaches, but his name is not on the table.

"There is a lot of speculation in the press, but Griezmann is not on the table and he has not called Barcelona."

One player on Barca's radar is Ajax and Netherlands centre-back De Ligt, who continues to attract interest from Europe's biggest clubs.

Barca have already agreed to sign Ajax star Frenkie de Jong – who will join next season – and Bartomeu's club are reportedly ready to raid the Dutch giants again for De Ligt.

"The signing of De Jong we wanted to do in the summer, but there was a lot of pressure, other teams wanted him and we advanced it," Bartomeu said.

"With Ajax there is a very good relationship. With De Ligt, I do not know what will happen. It seems he will be on the market and when we talk to the coaches we will see if we're in for him or not.

"His way of playing fits us and I like it. Ajax are a training club that sells, but we have not had talks."

Diego Simeone described Jan Oblak as "the best goalkeeper in the world" after his star turn in Atletico Madrid's 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Atletico bounced back from last weekend's disappointing 2-0 defeat to Barcelona as goals from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata earned all three points.

It could have been a very different outcome, though, if not for Oblak producing three stunning saves to keep Celta at bay.

And Simeone was in no doubt that the Slovenia international – who joined from Benfica in 2014 – is comfortably the best in the world in his position.

"He is the best goalkeeper in the world," he said. "We are fortunate that he chooses to play at Atletico and that he is with us. 

"He has improved a lot and he has earned it. When he arrived years ago, he entered the Champions League and because of his work, effort and improvement he is where he is."

The Atletico boss, meanwhile, was quick to dismiss speculation that Griezmann will attempt to engineer a move away from the club at the end of the season.

Camp Nou would appear to be the most likely destination given Barca's very public interest in the 28-year-old before he committed his future to Atletico ahead of last year's World Cup.

Simeone, though, says his side's most prized asset is going nowhere.

"I repeat, he is one of our captains. The club has made a huge effort to keep him here, he is happy in Madrid," he explained.

"He is a very important player for the team, it does not make me think that he can leave."

The win against Celta increased Atletico's lead over Real Madrid – who play Leganes on Monday – to five points in the battle for second.

Koke has described Saturday's match against Barcelona as Atletico Madrid's "last bullet" as they seek to prolong LaLiga's title race.

Reigning champions and leaders Barca are eight points clear of second-placed Atleti, with just seven more matches of the league season to come after the crunch meeting at Camp Nou.

Diego Simeone's side, surprise Liga champions in 2013-14, continue to punch above their weight in competing with Barca and Real Madrid for major honours.

And Spain international Koke, while acknowledging the odds are stacked against his side, is determined to keep fighting for as long as possible.

"We will go with everything we have to win the game, it's our last bullet," the midfielder told beIN Sports.

"In the last few years we've been at a great level, we've always wanted to win but we have to be realists, there are huge teams in front of us."

Koke also hailed the importance of Antoine Griezmann, who remains the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

"He's decisive for the team, even if he doesn't score," Koke said.

According to Koke, Alvaro Morata, a January loan arrival from Chelsea, has "given a boost to the team", although the striker is expected to miss the Barca clash due to a sprained ankle.

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann should not be booed by Barcelona fans in Saturday's crunch LaLiga clash, says Ernesto Valverde.

Griezmann was strongly linked with joining Barca last year but instead opted to stay at Atletico, discussing his future in a televised documentary produced by Gerard Pique's company.

Although fresh speculation has suggested Griezmann is keen on a move to Camp Nou at the end of the season, the France international has said he is "fed up" with the rumours.

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo also told Spanish TV show El Rondo: "I can confirm 1,000 per cent that he will remain a player of Atletico Madrid next season."

Griezmann could face a frosty reception when Atletico visit Barca this weekend, Diego Simeone's side aiming to put pressure on Valverde's league leaders.

But Valverde would prefer if fans did not make Griezmann the centre of attention for the game, which could see Barca move 11 points clear at the top of the table.

"I want the fans to pay attention to us, not opposition players, supporting us and not looking at them," Valverde told a news conference. "I don't like when we go to other grounds and get booed, it's like fans give more importance to the opposition than their own side, we want the opposite.

"Every player is free to decide over their future, just like the clubs can decide who they keep. Everyone is free to take their decisions and it's just another game for us. Griezmann is a great player so we'll take care, but nothing more than that.

"I'm the coach of a team who tomorrow are playing another team in which there are other players and coaches. I don't like to talk about players from other teams, just like I wouldn't like it if the opposition coach talked about my team. It's a question of respect."

Alvaro Morata is a doubt for Saturday's game due to an ankle injury, but Valverde confirmed Barcelona were interested in signing the Spain striker in the January transfer window.

Morata instead opted for a return to his boyhood club Atletico, where he has scored four LaLiga goals in eight appearances, while Barca moved for Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan from Serie A side Sassuolo.

"It's like everything, he was talked about as a target here, like many others," Valverde added. "But now he plays for Atletico.

"The role he was going to have here as a second striker isn't the same as at Atletico, so every player has to think about what he wants. It's speculation.

"Boateng has come in, he's not playing too much, but we said this to him right from the start."

Cringeworthy as it was for many viewers, Antoine Griezmann's 'The Decision' could still prove to be a landmark moment in Atletico Madrid's modern history. But not the one they expected. 

The blockbuster, made in association with Gerard Pique’s production company and premiered to millions last year, saw Griezmann oh-so-dramatically agonise over his future before confirming he would be rejecting Barcelona to stay at Atletico. 

As LaLiga's top two prepare to meet at Camp Nou on Saturday, Griezmann would hope to be getting ready for a decisive fixture, a chance to vindicate his choice and fire Atleti towards a first league triumph since 2013-14. In reality, with the gap standing at eight points, even a victory for the visitors looks unlikely to stop Barca securing a fourth title in five years. 

With the Copa del Rey and Champions League gone, too, Atleti are staring at a barren end to the season. Moreover, and more worryingly, there is a growing sense that 2018-19 has been one big missed opportunity, and perhaps the last they will have for a considerable time.


There was a point at Luzhniki Stadium last July, after the final whistle and before the trophy ceremony, when the World Cup final highlights were played on the big screens. 

While some France players danced in front of fans, Griezmann stood watching the replay of his man-of-the-match performance, hands pressed to his mouth, an irrepressible grin on his face. It was a poignant moment of childlike awe, as Griezmann the global superstar gave way to Antoine the boy from Macon, barely able to believe he had just won the biggest prize of all. 

Last year was probably the best in Griezmann's career. Starring roles in the Europa League and World Cup, plus a UEFA Super Cup win over Real Madrid, gave him three trophies and a genuine shot at the Ballon d'Or. When he asked, "what else do I have to do?" after finishing third in the voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, few disagreed. 

One thing his performances did earn him, though, was a new five-year Atleti contract. Having publicly deliberated over his future, the forward committed to a deal that, according to L'Equipe, has helped to make him the highest-earning French sportsman in the world. It was a mutual declaration of trust: Griezmann challenged the club to show enough ambition to keep their best players, and Atleti in turn made their standard-bearer's future safe. 

Or so they thought. Less than a year on, Griezmann's head has apparently been turned once more. There are suggestions he regrets his decision to stay and, although his sister has denied any recent contact with Barcelona, nobody from the Griezmann camp has yet dismissed the claims that he is unsure of his future. It is also thought that, as per the deal signed last year, his release clause will drop from €200million to €120m after this season, making him a more realistic prospect for Barca, or indeed Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United. 

Will Atleti go out of their way to convince him to stay this time? That, too, is unclear. Griezmann has scored 13 goals in 30 league games this season, having hit 19 in 32 last term. He was powerless to prevent them crashing to a 3-0 loss to Juventus that saw them exit the Champions League with a 3-2 aggregate defeat. He has been good, sometimes very good, but, for the highest-paid member of France's World Cup winners, perhaps not quite good enough.


Beyond the problem of Griezmann's future, Atleti fans must be starting to fear that Diego Simeone's carefully constructed squad is at risk of being picked apart. 

Lucas Hernandez was close to joining Bayern Munich a year ago and the Bundesliga giants returned with another offer that has proved too good to ignore - €80million, in fact, to match his release clause. His impending exit is said to have unsettled some of the club's senior stars, including Griezmann. 

There is also the problem of Saul Niguez. The man who signed a nine-year contract in July 2017, who said, "At Atletico, we are a family and there is no better place to be," has apparently grown restless.

Talk of a rift between Saul and Simeone has even led to speculation that Atleti might accept an offer of less than his €150m release clause, as Manchester City and Manchester United monitor the situation. 

Add to that the expected departure of veteran defender Diego Godin to Inter, the possible exit of Filipe Luis, the struggle for form of Diego Costa and the continued anxiety over whether Jan Oblak might be stolen away, and we are talking about seven possible transfers that would rip the heart out of Simeone's set-up and leave them in need of a substantial rebuild, which would make challenging for LaLiga and the Champions League next year seem nigh-on impossible. 


Like Griezmann, Simeone has agonised before over his Atletico future. Like Griezmann, he has so far always decided he is in the right place. 

A man who has presided over their greatest modern period, a winner of seven major trophies and twice a Champions League finalist, Simeone has been the basis of Atleti's planning. In tandem with the fearsome yet unflinchingly optimistic Mono Burgos, football's answer to Rubeus Hagrid (at least until he shaved his beard off), Simeone has weaved his magic to transform Atleti's fortunes. But is the spell wearing off? 

This season looked like their best chance of conquering Spain and Europe together, at least since the dramatic final weeks of 2013-14, when a draw with Barca gave them the league title and only Sergio Ramos' proclivity for an injury-time storyline denied them the Champions League. This term, with Barca not always firing on all cylinders and Madrid in disarray, Atleti had the trophies in their sights. After a Copa shock against Girona, a collapse in Turin and three league defeats in seven games, they were left looking at little more than Blaugrana coattails. 

Simeone signed a lucrative new three-year contract in February because, he said, "I see work, I see people involved to continue growing, I see hope, I see youth that can progress to the first team level. If all four legs remain firm we will continue on the same path: fans, leaders, players and the coach." 

The players, it seems, might not be staying "firm" for much longer. Simeone came close to walking away after the Champions League final loss in 2016 and, after another season of disappointment, he might think his time is finally up, too.

That would be two of four legs gone, leaving the club on its knees.

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo joked Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann would make a good strike duo – in Diego Simeone's side.

Griezmann, 28, has continually been linked with a move to Barcelona, where he would join five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

Cerezo said earlier this week Griezmann, who is contracted until 2023, was "1,000 per cent" staying at Atletico.

And the president suggested the France international would work well with Messi – at Atletico.

"He would make a very good strike partnership with Messi - at Atletico," Cerezo told Esports SER Catalunya on Thursday.

Atletico can close the gap to LaLiga leaders Barcelona to five points with a win at Camp Nou on Saturday.

They will not be able to stop Barca in the Champions League, having been eliminated in the last 16, but Cerezo hopes Ernesto Valverde's men – the only Spanish team in the quarter-finals – lift the trophy at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano on June 1.

"Let's hope Barca lift the European Cup at the Metropolitano," he said.

Antoine Griezmann will "1,000 per cent" be an Atletico Madrid player next season, according to the club's president Enrique Cerezo.

Speculation has once again surfaced in recent weeks that the France international will attempt to engineer a move away from the club at the end of the season.

Barcelona would appear to be the most likely destination, given their very public interest in the 28-year-old before he committed his future to Atleti ahead of last year's World Cup.

Speaking to Spanish TV show El Rondo, Cerezo said: "I can confirm 1,000 per cent that he will remain a player of Atletico Madrid next season."

Griezmann is likely to line up against Girona in LaLiga on Tuesday before Atleti travel to league leaders Barca on Saturday.

The World Cup winner has scored 18 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions this season for Diego Simeone's side.

Atletico Madrid are not being distracted by the uncertainty around Antoine Griezmann's future, head coach Diego Simeone insists.

Speculation has emerged in recent weeks that Griezmann is considering trying to leave the club, with Barcelona said to be ready to make him an offer.

Barca's interest in the France star dominated headlines for much of 2018 until the player released a short film in which he confirmed his decision to stay with Atletico.

But Simeone does not believe the latest rumours are causing any further unrest, adding that Griezmann's frustration at being substituted in the 4-0 win over Deportivo Alaves on Saturday was a positive sign.

"I think the team is calm," he said ahead of Tuesday's league game at home to Girona. "The other day, he came off angry because he wanted to keep playing, and that's good.

"He's one of the captains of our team and if there is something to report, he will do so, but he looks switched on for the end of the season and hopefully he can get back among the goals."

Simeone is also backing Diego Costa to stay at the club for next season, despite suggestions he could leave just 18 months after his return from Chelsea.

"I want him to stay," Simeone said of the striker, who is a doubt to face Girona with a hamstring injury. "His return helped us win the Europa League, be second in LaLiga, win the UEFA Super Cup...

"His presence, together with his team-mates, gives us a structure. He is at an ideal age. I trust him to the death."

Atleti have been tipped to sign Alex Telles and Hector Herrera from Porto before next season regardless of the future of their own stars, but Simeone is refusing to discuss proposed targets.

"I've always been very respectful with the boys," he added, "We're playing a league with nine matches left; tomorrow [Tuesday], we measure ourselves against an opponent who make it very tough, and that's what we're worried about.

"I focus on the players we have here until the end of the season. After that, the club will report on anything."

Ernesto Valverde says there is no good time to rest Lionel Messi as Barcelona prepare for a potentially critical week in their season.

LaLiga's leaders head to struggling Villarreal on Tuesday as they aim to at least maintain a 10-point gap to second-place Atletico Madrid, who host Girona two hours earlier.

The top two meet on Saturday at Camp Nou in a match that could effectively end Atletico's lingering title hopes, before Barca travel to face Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on April 10.

Despite two significant matches on the horizon, Valverde has suggested he will use Messi against Villarreal in order to avoid the risk of costly slip-ups in form.

"There's no ideal setting to use a player like Leo sparingly," he told a news conference on Monday.

"We're giving a lot of value to this game. There are people who have set their sights on the Champions League and Atletico, but this game is very important.

"It doesn't escape me that our rivals are waiting for a slip-up to feed their hope of catching us. We should not give them that chance."

Atletico exited the Champions League at the hands of Juventus and suffered a 2-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao prior to the international break, amid increasing speculation over the future of Antoine Griezmann.

But Valverde has denied suggestions that either Atleti or Barca could be distracted by talk of the France star moving to Catalonia, especially since the same rumours abounded last year.

"Neither us nor Atleti are destabilised by him being talked about," he said. "Other players will be talked about, too. It was talked about last year. We're used to it, as are Atletico."

Barca have won three of the last four league titles but only one Champions League in the last seven years, while they have watched Real Madrid claim all of the last three.

Valverde, though, insists the league remains just as important as ever to the club, even if European dominance is the priority for many supporters.

"Historically, when Barca win the Champions League, they win LaLiga," he said. "The Champions League motivates the fans, the players, but it doesn't escape us that any game can get away from you if you are not focused for 15 minutes.

"In LaLiga, you're assessed from the first minute until the last. The way to be in other tournaments is how you are in LaLiga. For me, the league is essential.

"All three trophies are equally close or far away. Everything depends on little things, and we still haven't won anything yet. We're on a well-travelled path and now we have to be precise. We'd like to get a trophy, and it would be best to get all of them."

Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways back with a stylish 4-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Deportivo Alaves at Mendizorroza on Saturday.

Goals from Saul Niguez, Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata and Thomas Partey were enough to send Atletico back to within 10 points of LaLiga leaders Barcelona and five ahead of third-place Real Madrid, who play on Sunday.

It was a commendable display from the visitors, who lost back-to-back matches to Juventus and Athletic Bilbao before the international break to effectively end their hopes of finishing the season with a trophy to add to last August's UEFA Super Cup triumph.

Saul, having been denied by a good Fernando Pacheco save, had better luck with only five minutes played when he drilled a left-footed shot beneath the goalkeeper after being sent clear by Antoine Griezmann.

Atleti doubled their lead only six minutes later, Costa collecting Koke's pass 25 yards out before bending a fine strike beyond the static Pacheco and in off the right-hand post for his first league goal since November.

The visitors eased off and nearly paid the price before the break, with Saul heading the ball off the line after Tomas Pina flicked on a corner, and Alaves were furious when Thomas Lemar escaped a second yellow card for a high foot as their pressure continued in the second half.

Those frustrations were compounded moments later when Lemar slid a fine throughball into the path of Morata, who side-footed past Pacheco with aplomb from 12 yards.

Pacheco denied Griezmann a fourth with a fine one-handed stop that sent his attempted chip onto the left-hand post, but Diego Simeone's side reserved their best moment until last, with Thomas bending a stunning strike in off the woodwork with six minutes left.


What does it mean? Atleti restore order after turbulent two weeks

Crashing out of the Champions League to Juventus, losing 2-0 to Athletic and seeing Lucas Hernandez agree to an €80million move to Bayern Munich all in the last two weeks must have hurt the Atletico camp.

With that in mind, their performance here was particularly impressive, and might just serve as a reminder that it need not be all doom and gloom at the Wanda Metropolitano, even if leaders Barca are 10 points clear at the top.

For Alaves, this was something of a missed opportunity, with Getafe's loss to Leganes earlier meaning they could have gone fourth had they beaten Atleti.

Griezmann brings graft and guile

Playing on the right once more, Griezmann did a lot of good defensive work to cover for Juanfran on top of his typically creative attacking display. He created three chances, earned one assist and was inches from a goal of his own.

Brasanac move backfires

Darko Brasanac was given the nod on the Alaves right ahead of Takashi Inui, and he did not repay Abelardo's faith, offering little in attack and not much cover against Saul before being replaced after less than an hour.

What's next?

Atleti host Girona on Tuesday before next Saturday's showdown with Barca at Camp Nou. Alaves are next in action on Thursday, away to Sevilla.

Diego Simeone says he cannot imagine Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid. 

There was renewed speculation over Griezmann's future during the international break, the France forward having been strongly linked with Barcelona last year. 

Griezmann instead announced his intention to stay with Atletico in a specially produced television documentary and this week he declared himself "fed up" with the transfer speculation. 

Lucas Hernandez has been sold to Bayern Munich but Simeone does not think Griezmann will follow his fellow World Cup winner out of the club. 

"Honestly, I am not worried about the Griezmann issue," Simeone told reporters ahead of Saturday's LaLiga trip to Deportivo Alaves.  

"He is a captain of Atletico Madrid, he has always responded with football, with facts, what he wants, now we have an important game in which he will have to answer. 

"If I imagine the next season without Griezmann? No, I cannot imagine the next season without him because he has a contract with the club, he is one of the captains of Atletico, he gave everything since he arrived, and I imagine tomorrow he will have a great match. That's all I see around Griezmann." 

Bayern's move for defender Lucas was confirmed this week after the Bundesliga giants triggered his €80million release clause, but Simeone is not bitter about the player's departure. 

"First, always a thank you to all the work that Lucas did in all these years, which were not many, but at the same time it was intense," Simeone said.  

"He gave us a lot as a footballer, we love him very much as a kid, the club made a great effort to try to keep him and he made the decision to change teams. And always wish him the best for his future." 

Atletico are 10 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona ahead of next weekend's clash between the two sides at Camp Nou but Simeone still believes his side can bridge the gap.

"Until there are possibilities, I am exaggeratedly optimistic," he added. "In a week many things can happen in football, but obviously, we have to encourage that possibility is generated." 

Antoine Griezmann declared himself "a little bit fed up" of transfer speculation amid fresh talk he could leave Atletico Madrid for Barcelona.

The World Cup winner mulled over his future last year before signing a contract extension with Atleti, having revealed his desire to stay in a documentary-style video.

Suggestions the France international could still end up at Barca persist, though, with Atletico 10 points adrift of Ernesto Valverde's side in the LaLiga title race.

Griezmann scored in France's 4-0 win over Iceland in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday but he could still not avoid the topic of his club future.

"I'm already used to it and a little bit fed up, every year it's the same, so I'm used to it," he told Univision when asked about the Barca speculation.

Atletico face Barcelona next month but the chances of them winning the title now appear slim.

Diego Simeone's side have already been knocked out of the Copa del Rey in the last 16 and suffered elimination at the same stage in the Champions League earlier this month.

Atleti had beaten Juventus 2-0 in the first leg but then suffered a 3-0 loss in Turin, which dashed their hopes of reaching the final in their own stadium.

"It was a bit hard [to take]," Griezmann admitted.

"But I've always been confident. I know the team needs me and now we have to do a good end of the season."

Didier Deschamps said his France players had "a lot of fun" as they made it back-to-back Euro 2020 qualifying wins against Iceland on Monday.

France got their campaign off to a routine start with a 4-1 win over Moldova on Friday and the world champions delivered another goal-laden victory upon their return to Paris as they brushed aside Erik Hamren's Iceland 4-0.

Samuel Umtiti opened the scoring after 12 minutes and France had to wait until midway through the second half for a second – Olivier Giroud steering home from close range to become his country's third all-time goalscorer. 

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann then added two fine goals late on as France turned on the style to wrap up the most comfortable of three points in the French capital.

Deschamps admitted France struggled at the start of the second period but was delighted to see his rich array of attacking talent exploit the gaps in Iceland's defence as the game wore on.

"They left more space when they got fatigued and we used that," head coach Deschamps told M6.

"We found more openings in the second period even if our start in the second half was not our best. It is never easy with well organised teams, but I enjoyed watching them play.

"The atmosphere was beautiful. The players had a lot of fun playing this game."

France and Turkey are level on six points at the Group H summit and face off in Konya on June 8 – a game Griezmann said they will be well prepared for.

"It was important to take six points," the Atletico Madrid star told reporters.  

"Now we're well placed. We are confident, no matter the amount of goals we score every game. The most important thing is to take three points and we did it twice, so we are very happy.

"Our goal is to finish first. We know we would play some difficult games, like in Turkey. We will need to prepare ourselves well and deliver on the pitch."

France made it two wins from two in Euro 2020 qualifying Group H as they cruised past Iceland 4-0 at Stade de France on Monday.

Didier Deschamps' side got their campaign off to a routine start with a 4-1 win over Moldova on Friday and wasted little time setting up another comprehensive win, Samuel Umtiti heading home in the 12th minute.

Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and Blaise Matuidi all missed opportunities to extend their advantage during the first half, however, and they were almost punished for their profligacy when Birkir Bjarnason tested Hugo Lloris shortly after the interval.  

Giroud, Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann ensured a drama-free finish for the World Cup winners, though, all scoring inside the final 22 minutes as Les Bleus turned on the style to wrap up the most comfortable of three points. 


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