The France boss has conceded his side will have a tough job in hand to contain the Portuguese star and feels he will be require ‘special attention’ on Saturday.
Didier Deschamps spoke to reporters at Les Blues’ training camp at Clairefontaine ahead of Saturday’s game against Portugal.
Deschamps reflected on his team selections and clarified debatable decision like dropping the in-form Alexandre Lacazette.
“I watched the players on my list this weekend. But that is only getting a picture from one match. I watch players over a period of 4-5 games.”
“Stéphane Ruffier has a problem. I have called up Benoît Costil. Today, he is part of a pre-selection of players.”
“I have no regrets with regards to Alexandre Lacazette. He scored a hat trick, but the players that I selected also scored. I am not annoyed by Hubert Fournier’s words. There is nothing to talk about.”
Deshchamps was delighted with the current form of his strikers and had encouraging words for both Karim Benzema and Andre Pierre Gignac.”We have a tendency to question the ability of Karim Benzema, but he is a player of a very high calibre. He will always score. He is not similar to Ronaldo. Ronaldo is more of an individualist. Benzema plays more in the overall game than Ronaldo. But he is also able to score important goals, in duels.”
“I am not going to ask Gignac to do anything other than what he has been doing at his club. He is clinical and precise. Gignac will be very useful for us with the way he has been with Marseille. He is in form.”
Regarding his defenders, Deschamps suggested that he is not at all surprised by the solid start to the season by Jeremy Mathieu.”I am not surprised by Mathieu. He has just had two very good seasons with Valencia. Barcelona know what they’re getting. I already played Varane and Mangala against the Netherlands. But the hierarchy is variable.”
Deschamps also commented on his midfielders while reserving special praise for Juventus ace Paul Pogba. “Pogba has an enormous potential, that does not date since today. He shows so much strength, technical quality. Everything that he does with the ball at his feet is eye-opening. I prefer to have him in our side than against us.”
“It made sense to call Payet up. What Dimitri is doing at Marseille is interesting. He is showing his technical quality.Cabaye plays a little higher up the pitch with PSG. He didn’t play much in front of the defence before the World Cup. There are no worries.”
Finally he spoke about his opponents on Saturday and highlighted Cristiano Ronaldo as the danger-man. “The clash against Portugal is a classic, like playing against England, Italy, Spain…”
“It’s complicated. Ronaldo is a player who has a very high efficiency. The people who will come to the stadium will be happy to see him. I do not know if he will play or how long he will play since Portugal has an important game three days later. It takes a special attention, of course. In one against one, he manages to make a difference. Limiting his influence to his team is something important but it also allows more freedom for those who are around him.”