Thierry Henry says France will face tough competition if it is to win the European Championships in 2020, particularly from Cristiano Ronaldo, who will want to go out on a high at what may be his last ever international tournament.
France are favorites to lift the trophy next summer, having won the World Cup in 2016 and thus far breezed Group H qualifying, losing just one of its eight games and scoring 21 goals.
Should Les Bleus win the competition, it would be the second time in history it has won the World Cup and European Championships back-to-back — Henry being part of the sides that achieved that astonishing feat in 1998 and 2000.
To do so however, would mean stripping Ronaldo of the title he captained Portgual to in 2016, which Henry admits will be no easy task.
“Can they? Of course they can,” Henry told Business Insider when asked if the current crop of French players can match the achievements of the 1998 to 2000 class.
“But right now Portugal are the holders, and I don't think that [Cristiano] Ronaldo is going to want to let it go.
“Spain are going to want to come back, Italy, Holland are doing extremely well, although they are still not there yet. Belgium, I'm sure are going to want to erase what happened at the World Cup. So it's very difficult to call that one out.
“Can they? Of course they can. They have the quality to do that for sure.”
Henry says France's strength in depth sets the team apart
France national team manager Didier Deschamps has a seemingly endless supply line of talent across all positions at his disposal to choose from.
Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema were just a few of the high profile names left out of the World Cup winning squad of 2018.
In qualifying this time around, other big names have again been excluded — the most notable being Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, who was sidelined for over a month with two separate injuries.
Henry, who is the brand ambassador for Euro 2020's official beer, Heineken, says such luxury is what ultimately sets his country apart.
“What I like with that team is that obviously you have guys like [Olivier] Giroud, [Paul] Pogba, [Antoine] Griezmann, Mbappe, that you expect to shine, because that's what they do,” he said.
“But it's a team effort. And what I've seen from them at the World Cup was they won that tournament as a team. They're winning games as a team in the qualifiers. For example, Mbappe wasn't available for a lot of games in the qualifiers, and Giroud appears. And sometimes it's Griezmann, or sometimes it's Kingsley Coman.
“So that's how you win a tournament, and that's how you win games, when everyone is on tune.”
France next take on Moldova on November 14, where a win would be enough to seal its place at the World Cup next summer.