France could take over world football - Wenger wowed by next generation
France's emerging generation marks them out as "the upcoming force in international football", according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Wenger managed a number of the key figures from France's last golden period, including Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, as Les Bleus followed up 1998 World Cup success with Euro 2000 glory.
Their captain during that period, Didier Deschamps, now presides over a squad that appears well-tooled to revisit such glory days, although they suffered bitter disappointment with defeat on home soil to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016.
Nevertheless, the continued development of youth talents such as Monaco hotshot Kylian Mbappe leaves Deschamps with an embarrassment of riches that Wenger believes could soon be the envy of the footballing world.
"I'm convinced, maybe because I'm French, but at the moment the best players in the world are in France," he told beIN Sports ahead of his country hosting Spain in a friendly at the Stade de France on Tuesday.
"When you put yourself in Deschamps' place it is a nightmare to select first the 20 best and then after the 11 best.
"That is not a problem they have at the moment in Spain. Germany as well is still there but maybe a little bit less strong than they were in [winning the 2014 World Cup in] Brazil.
"The upcoming force for me in international football is France. You find top quality players in France now like you did in Brazil 20 years ago.
"On every corner you can find a player who can play for a national team. When you look at players like [Tiemoue] Bakayoko and [Alexandre] Lacazette who are not even selected – that was not the case 10 years ago.
"That's why I think that France has an exceptional potential and maybe could take over."