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Euro 2016

France need Pogba in peak form at Euro 2016, says Deschamps

Marseille (AFP) – France need midfield star Paul Pogba to hit peak form when Les Bleus take on Germany for a Euro 2016 final place, coach Didier Deschamps said Wednesday.

Juventus star Pogba started the European Championship finals amid high expectations but has not consistently sparkled.

“Paul is someone who needs tranquility and serenity. It’s difficult because you (media) talk about him every day, but he’s relaxed,” Deschamps said.

“He knows that he’s capable of leading the team, and for the past two matches he has played really well.

“Tomorrow, we need him to be on top of his game.”

The 23-year-old did not hit his stride until France’s convincing 5-2 win over Iceland, when he rose to meet Antoine Griezmann’s corner in the 20th minute to double France’s lead.

The hopes of an expectant nation will now rise again ahead of the blockbuster clash against world champions Germany in Marseille on Thursday.

Asked if he had found the “real” Pogba again, Deschamps replied: “I didn’t lose him, and I didn’t find him again. Maybe it was a little bit difficult (for him) at the start but he’s always been there when we need him.”

France last beat Germany at a major finals at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

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