UEFA Euro 2020 is just around the corner, and football fans across the world are getting ready for one of the biggest tournaments in world football.
The majority of countries have announced their squad for Euro 2020. France have named an exceptionally strong squad, consisting of some of the best players in world football.
It will be hard for France manager Didier Deschamps to name a starting XI from such a talented group of players for Euro 2020. However, stability is important and a constant first XI is essential for countries aiming to win the tournament.
We look at the:
Strongest possible starting XI for France at UEFA Euro 2020
Goalkeeper- Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
France's star-studded squad will be led by captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who will be coming to Euro 2020 on the back of a poor campaign for Tottenham Hotspur.
Lloris has been an excellent player for Spurs since his arrival from Lyon in 2012 for £11.3 million. An athletic goalkeeper, the 34-year old has been criticized after committing major errors in recent seasons for both club and country, but in general, Lloris still remains a trustworthy shot-stopper.
The former Nice man made 38 appearances in the Premier League this season, keeping 12 clean sheets as Tottenham Hotspur finished seventh. It is hard to envisage Lloris not starting every game for France at Euro 2020. With 123 caps for the France senior side, he is also one of the most experienced players in the squad.
Other options: Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille)
Right-back- Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich)
Benjamin Pavard burst onto the scene after some good performances for France at the FIFA World Cup and should be the starting the majority of matches at Euro 2020.
Pavard joined Bayern Munich from Stuttgart for £31.5 million, and has been a consistent performer for the Bavarians. The 25-year old, who can also operate as a centre-back, is a good passer and strong aerially and has been a constant feature for France in recent years.
While Pavard is not a glamorous name like many of his national team members, the former Lille man is clearly trusted by France manager Didier Deschamps and looks set to be a starter at Euro 2020. He made 24 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich this season, helping them win the league.
Centre-back- Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Raphael Varane's Real Madrid future has been a topic of heavy discussion in recent weeks, but right now the Frenchman's focus will only be on Euro 2020.
Regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, Varane will be the defensive leader for France at Euro 2020. The 28-year old has been around the national team setup for quite some time now and his technical as well as physical qualities will be crucial at Euro 2020.
Varane did not enjoy the best of seasons with Los Blancos. He made 31 La Liga appearances, but the absence of Sergio Ramos seemingly affected his performances. The centre-back has been linked with a move away from Real Madrid, with Manchester United and Chelsea linked as potential destinations. A good Euro 2020 will only increase his value.
Centre-back- Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)
A product of the Paris Saint-Germain academy, Presnel Kimpembe is one of the rare players to have made the step up from academy to become an established senior team member for the Parisien giants.
Paris Saint-Germain's academy produces excellent young footballers, but many of them tend to leave due to lack of minutes at the senior level. Kimpembe, however, is now a starting centre-back for his club and one of the best defenders in Ligue 1.
The 25-year old is an excellent passer with good defensive attributes and has made 180 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain since his debut. Kimpembe is left-footed, so he will be an ideal partner for Varane at Euro 2020.
Left-back- Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich)
Eyebrows were raised when France manager Didier Deschamps did not include AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez in the Euro 2020 squad. His brother, Lucas, has been named though.
It would be fair to say that Lucas Hernandez is yet to justify the £72 million Bayern Munich paid to Atletico Madrid in 2019 to acquire his services. Capable of playing as a centre-back as well as a left-back, Hernandez's Bayern Munich spell has been dominated by injuries, and the 25-year old has been reduced to playing a squad role at the club.
The defender made only 18 Bundesliga starts this season for Bayern Munich. His versatility is certainly useful though, and a strong Euro 2020 tournament will be expected from him.
Other options: Leo Dubois (Lyon), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Lucas Digne (Everton)
Central midfielder- Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Paul Pogba's Manchester United career continues to divide opinion, but there is no denying that the midfielder has been a sensational player for France and will be key at Euro 2020.
The 28-year old was one of the best players at the FIFA World Cup in 2018, and he will once again be the fulcrum of this France side at Euro 2020. An excellent passer who is technically and physically gifted, Pogba has the ability to run games from midfield, although he remains a frustratingly inconsistent figure for Manchester United.
The former Juventus man, who cost Manchester United a then world-record fee of £94.5 million in 2016, was often utilized on the left this season by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer where he impressed with his performances. It is likely that he will be used as a midfielder at Euro 2020 by Deschamps.
Central midfielder- N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Arguably the best midfielder in world football right now, N'Golo Kante has enjoyed a phenomenal second half of the 2020/21 season with Chelsea.
A dynamic midfielder who is strong defensively, there were fears that Kante was in decline after a few subpar performances and injury issues last season. He has answered those doubts emphatically though, and was one of Chelsea's most important players as they won the Champions League this season.
The 30-year old was crowned Man of the Match in the Champions League final against Manchester City. Kante is seen by many as an early contender for the Ballon d'Or, and France will need him to be at his dominant best at Euro 2020.
Attacking midfielder- Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)
Antoine Griezmann's Barcelona stint might not be going according to plan, but the forward remains one of the best players in the world and could prove to be crucial at Euro 2020.
A superstar for the French national team, Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in 2019 for £108 million. However, the 30-year old has struggled at the Catalan club amid suggestions that he could be in the transfer market this summer.
Griezmann has made 99 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona, scoring 35 goals and providing 16 assists. For France, the former Real Sociedad man has 89 caps and 35 goals. Griezmann is capable of playing anywhere across the forward line and he will be keen to replicate his World Cup 2018 performances at Euro 2020.
Other options: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur)
Right-winger- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
One of the best players in world football, Kylian Mbappe will be under intense pressure to perform at Euro 2020 after an excellent World Cup in 2018.
The 22-year old is a talismanic figure for Paris Saint-Germain. Since joining the club in 2017 from AS Monaco, initially on a loan which was made permanent for £130.5 million in 2018, Mbappe has made 171 appearances in all competitions, scoring 132 goals and providing 61 assists.
Paris Saint-Germain endured a disappointing 2020/21 campaign. However, Mbappe will be keen to show his prowess to a global audience, and the forward's pace, physicality, creativity and dribbling could all cause problems for the opposition defense at Euro 2020.
Centre-forward- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema's involvement with France's senior squad for Euro 2020 has come as a pleasant surprise, after the striker's absence from the French setup for over five years due to controversial reasons.
One of the best strikers in the world, Benzema provides another dimension to an already-frightening French attack. A complete forward, the 33-year old has been Real Madrid's most important player since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and has often been the difference between a win and a loss.
Benzema has 81 caps for France and has scored 27 goals. The striker looks ready to lead the line for France at Euro 2020.
Left-winger- Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)
For a while, it looked like Kingsley Coman's professional career could come to an end due to serious injury issues. Fortunately, that has not been the case.
The 24-year old is now regarded as a vital player in the Bayern Munich setup. A creative winger with good dribbling ability, Coman is a technically gifted player capable of playing on both wings.
The former Juventus man made 29 Bundesliga appearances this season, scoring five goals and providing 10 assists. Like Mbappe, Coman's pace on the wings could cause serious trouble for opposition defenders at Euro 2020.
Other options: Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Wissam Ben Yedder (AS Monaco), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)