Paul Pogba key for France, says Germany's Loew

AFP , Thursday 12 Nov 2015

France's midfielder Paul Pogba attends a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, near Paris, on November 9, 2015, on the first day of their training ahead of the friendly football match against Germany to be held on November 13 (AFP)

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is the central figure for a France team that will be among the Euro 2016 favourites, according to Germany coach Joachim Loew.

Euro 2016 hosts France take on world champions Germany in a friendly at the Stade de France in Paris on Friday.

Germany beat France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil last year, before going on to lift the title with a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final.

But Loew believes the current French set-up has come on since then, and Pogba in particular.

"I think this team is better, it has grown since the last World Cup, increased in maturity," said Loew at Thursday's pre-match press conference.

"You see that in their direct play, based on attack, contrary to their more intrinsic nature which is maybe more about keeping possession.

"They have a lot of pace and technical prowess up front, a passing game that works well, not to mention their physical level and athleticism.

"It's a well-balanced side with Paul Pogba as a central player.

"They're a very strong team that want to gauge themselves, to see where they're at during these big tests (France play England at Wembley four days later) after not having played in the qualifiers.

"By all accounts, they have impressed me a lot. They're very direct and I'd classify them as one of the Euro 2016 favourites."

Following the French test, Germany will host the Netherlands, who did not qualify for the Euros, in Hannover on Tuesday.

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