Hosts France get Euro 2016 underway tonight, facing Romania in Paris.
After some years in the wilderness at international level, France have begun finding their feet again and the nation will expect big things from a side packed with exciting young talent.
Going through their team their is star power in every position so you can understand why they have been installed as favourites to lift the trophy by some.
France last hosted a major tournament in 1998, the World Cup and come the final, dispatched reigning champions Brazil to win their first FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Now 18 years later a side lead by Didier Deschamps will hope to replicate the feats of those that came before them.
There are many players that have been pipped to shine at the competition, England will hope Kane and Alli can shine on the international stage the way they did at club level whilst Renato Sanches will look to show why Bayern Munich splashed so much money to take him to Germany whilst youngsters like Emre Mor and Bree Embolo will want to announce their names to a wider audience but there are two players that could lead their nation to glory if they step up.
We spoke to Jason Cundy about the players to star at the competition and he feels that host France hold all the aces:
I feel this is the tournament that Paul Pogba steps up and proves that he is world class to anyone that has any doubts about his ability. Having reportedly been quoted a fee of €120m, Manchester United will be more furious than ever having lost the youngster. You could see he had ‘it’ back then and despite claims that he is a ‘Youtube player’, he has shown it.
He has undoubtedly been a success at Juventus and there isn’t a team in the world that wouldn’t take him, that’s why he is wanted by every big team in the world.
He could take player of the competition in front of his home crowd and if he does it shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone given his talent.
Another player that has shown that is on that level is Antoine Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid attacker lead the Spanish club to the Champions League final and despite a missed penalty, Griezmann can be proud of his display this past season instrumental in his side beating the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich en route to the final.
He has shown in the last 12 months the caliber of player he is, composed, ingenuitive, pacy and a brilliant finisher as Marcel Desailly said, France will shine if Griezmann shines and takes his role as the nation’s marquee player.
France have two of the best players in the competition, and if they both turn up and show what they are capable of, France could very well be lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy.