Kurt Zouma

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Kurt Zouma shows off his attacking technique in France training session

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With the European club football season coming to a conclusion when Real Madrid take on Juventus in the Champions League final on Saturday, many players have already jetted off on their summer holidays.

However, for those that have been selected to represent their country at an international level, their season is not quite over.  

Although there is no major tournament this year, most teams have a couple of friendly matches and a World Cup qualifier to play before mid-June.

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With the World Cup finals just over a year away, now is the perfect time for international managers to start working on the tactics and players to deploy in Russia next summer. 

The likes of Germany, Argentina and Brazil have all been made early favourites for success in 2018.

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The current world champions, coached by Joachim Low, boast names like Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Julian Draxler and Thomas Muller, making them one of the strongest sides in the world.   

Both Brazil and Argentina have standout players in Neymar and Lionel Messi, who are both forwards capable of winning a game by themselves.    

One team that combines these standout players, as well as having great strength in depth, is France. They hosted Euro 2016 last year and reached the final, losing only to Portugal in extra time.

France v Spain International Friendly

In 2018, they will be desperate to go one better and win a major international tournament for the first time since 2000.

And they have the squad to do it. Didier Deschamps has multiple world class players to pick from in almost every position on the pitch.

Some of the big names include Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi and Tiemoue Bakayoko in midfield alone, along with Antoine Griezmann, Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe who can all play up-front.

FBL-WC-2018-FRA-TRAINING

In defense, they have the likes of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti to protect Hugo Lloris' goal. 

With those two paired at centre-back, even Chelsea's Kurt Zouma struggles to break into the French team.

However, he has been selected in the squad for friendlies against Paraguay and England, as well as an important qualifier against the Netherlands. 

FBL-WC-2018-FRA-TRAINING

And in training yesterday ahead of the match against Paraguay tonight, he's been proving he could give Griezmann a run for his money in attack. 

The French team's Twitter posted a video of Zouma running against Laurent Koscielny, doing a couple of stepovers and feints to beat the defender, before slotting past the goalkeeper. 

He uses a trick made famous by Jay Jay Okocha, a kind of reverse step over that completely fools the defender. 

Judging by that, Zouma is another player who looks like he can do the business up top as well as in defense and France will certainly be the team to watch in Russia next year!  

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Topics:
Internationals
Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma
Football
Paul Pogba

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