Laurent Blanc: 'France have no great players'

FRANCE manager Laurent Blanc has conceded ahead of tomorrow's trip to Wembley that his country no longer has any great footballers.

Blanc won the World Cup and European Championship as a defender during France's heyday a decade ago. That team was packed with players who were stars at the biggest European clubs, but last night he said: "For the moment we don't have any great players in our national team. What's for certain is that we haven't got there yet, we're not ready."

Blanc thinks only Chelsea's Florent Malouda and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery are close to that level, and that Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri is on the way to joining them.

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"We have a few players who are playing in big clubs, who are maybe in the process of becoming great players. We have to be patient, we have to help them to blossom," Blanc said. "If we can have three or four players blossoming in big clubs, that gives us a solid platform and a strong identity to our game, that would be the first step. But we're far away from that."