Ribery and Benzema can take France to the top: Deschamps
Paris: France coach Didier Deschamps has praised the quality of Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, stressing his belief that the duo have the ability to take France "to the top".
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Les Bleus` World Cup 2014 qualifier against Spain on Tuesday, the former Marseille boss told reporters that the attacking stars have the potential to make the difference for his side against any opposition.
"Everyone always expects a lot from them. These are great players who can take the team to the top. They have this quality, talent to make a difference," he said.
The former World Cup winner defended recent criticism of Benzema, insisting that the Real Madrid star`s form can only be judged further into the current campaign.
The 44-year-old continued: "I spoke with Karim. If you question his potential, it must be at the heart of a season.
"This is not a player who remains in the box. He does not have these qualities. Is he too lonely in attack? Del Bosque has invented 4-6-0, this does not prevent the Spanish team from being effective. This is not the problem."
Looking ahead to the clash in Madrid, Deschamps has hailed Spain as the best side in history, but insists France will not go into the game with a defensive mindset.
When asked if Vicente del Bosque`s team are the greatest ever, he said: "Yes, no doubt because nobody won what they won. This is the reality.
"We will have to defend collectively, be able to come out with the ball and be effective in situations where we can be. Against Spain, you know you`re going to suffer.
"Our intentions are to make the best possible result. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. The problem with Spain is that they have the quality to keep the ball. But I am convinced that coming here and just thinking defence is not a solution. When we have the ball, we have to use it well. There will be strong and weak moments in the match."
Spain beat France 2-0 in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, but the ex-Chelsea midfielder insists the result must be consigned to the past.
On the match this summer, he said: "I watched it. But I do not judge what has been done before. In the Spanish team there will certainly be many players who were there. On our side, a little less.
"France was forced to defend deep because Spain had the ball a lot. They did well at times but we had no worries when it came to making Spain defend. There were good phases."
The former Juventus star also revealed his admiration for Del Bosque, adding: "He has the respect of everyone, he has won a lot of titles and is well suited to the players at his disposal. He is humble and friendly. This puts more value on his record."