Stéphane Ruffier to start, Raphael Varane to captain in France’s friendly vs Denmark

France boss Didier Deschamps has announced that St Étienne goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier will start vs Denmark and that Real Madrid central defender Raphael Varane will captain Les Bleus again, taking over from Benzema who fulfilled that role earlier this week during France’s 3-1 loss to Brazil.

Didier Deschamps and Raphael Varane had the following to say in the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with Denmark.

Raphael Varane:

On Brazil: “We came up against a good Brazil side. They were better than us, but it gives us a good basis to progress for the future. We need to continue to work, to give our maximum to be consistent. This loss does not mean that we have to question everything.”

On the defence: “We can improve our defensive block. It is a specific point that we need to work on, it is a basis to work from. We need to respond together in the right way, that is our strength. If we defend better together, things will get better.”

On his personal performances: “I have room for improvement. I can better myself. Physically, I am showing myself to be capable. That is not hard to show from corners. I don’t need to be more mean with my game, I just need to perform better under my style of play. I am trying to guide my colleagues.”

On Nicklas Bendtner: “He is a very good player who is in good form. It is up to us to do what is necessary to nullify him.”

On the captaincy: “It is an honour. A great joy.”


Didier Deschamps:

On Denmark: “Denmark will offer us a different challenge to Brazil but we want to perform well. I will make changes. They are not a team who plays direct football, they try to build. They work well together, they play on the ground. We are not going to get used to losing. This match against Denmark is important. They are not coming here not to win. We need to win for our confidence, for our piece of mind. To avoid criticism.”

On Benzema and Evra: “They will not be taking part in training as they have little knocks.”

On tactics: “We have a choice of systems, I can change and I will change. I am considering the 4-4-2.”

On Varane: “It can happen that defenders have a bad game once in a while. Once in a while that can happen.”

On Tremoulinas: “He can give us something going forward. What you bring going forward must however not be at the determent of your defensive duties.”

On Brazil: “The defeat doesn’t change anything. That was the first game, we have a second one. It is in the past. I am not blind. I know what worked and what didn’t work. I am doing what I can do internally to fix that.”

On Zouma: “He is above all a central defender. He is more comfortable on the right hand side.”

On Fékir: “He was very much at ease against Brazil. He played only 10 minutes but it was interesting. He needs some time. He feels good in this group but we must not ask too much of him.”

On Giroud: “He is in a different category to Benzema. He doesn’t lack anything in order to compete with Karim because they are different players. Giroud is self-assured.”

On Griezmann: “He knows what I expect of him. I don’t need to revisit it. He has my complete confidence in him.”

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