France head coach Didier Deschamps has insisted that their upcoming friendly matches against South Africa and Ivory Coast have value.
The world champions are set to take on Ivory Coast’s Elephants at Stade Orange Velodrome in Marseille on Friday, before facing Bafana Bafana at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille next week Tuesday.
Nicknamed Le Bleus, France have included high profile players such as Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe in their squad for the two games.
There have been critics who have slammed the two matches against the African sides, suggesting that they have little value for Les Bleus, but Deschamps has dismissed this suggestion.
“Some of you will say that these matches have no value but it is better to win them otherwise they will increase in value,” Deschamps said during a press conference according to .
“I prefer to be in my place, qualified for the World Cup with two friendly matches on the programme than that of my Italian or Portuguese counterparts who will face each other in the play-off.”
Les Bleus have already qualified for the World Cup finals which will be hosted by Qatar later this year after they dominated their qualifying group – recording five wins and three draws from eight matches.
“Do not trivialise an international gathering. The pleasure of meeting up is there because the players have chained matches with disappointments and moments of happiness,” the retired defensive midfielder continued.
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“We haven’t been together for four months: it’s the return of the French team. Next, I am realistic. Many players are there, had very important matches before and will have very important ones after.”
“We are going to play in Lille, the stadium is full and in Marseille, the stadium will be.”
France will be looking to avenge their 2-1 defeat to Bafana at the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals in Bloemfontein.