France coach Didier Deschamps hailed “leader” Paul Pogba after a 2-1 Nations League win over Croatia on Wednesday.

Antoine Griezmann’s eighth-minute opener had earlier been cancelled out by Nikola Vlasic, but France ensured they moved onto 10 points,equal with Portugal in Group A3.

Deschamps was full of praise for Manchester United midfielder Pogba, particularly for the pass that led to Mbappe’s goal.

“About Pogba, of course we could talk about him being unquestionable, but we could say the same of Antoine Griezmann,” Deschamps told a news conference.

“He is one of the leaders, he has this capacity to be decisive and also to be a leader in the group. He didn’t start because it was wiser for him not to start, with the problem that he had, but yes, he is one of the most important players of the team.

“Even though, sometimes, it could have some hard times, but he has this strength to bring together.

“Also, he has this quality in the pre-assist. I don’t take away anything from the quality of the centre of Lucas Digne, but he has this technique quality, not necessarily by dribbling as he used to do it before, but this pass is the one that triggers everything.”

Deschamps’ leadership was also praised, with Griezmann thanking his manager for playing him as a central forward, rather than on the right where he has often been deployed for Barcelona.

“The coach knows where to put me,” Griezmannsaid of Deschamps in an interview withTF1.”I take advantage of this situation, of this place, of the confidence of the coach andmyteam-mates.

“It was a complicated match, not very beautiful to see, not very beautiful to play, on adifficult ground. We knew how to suffer, the most important is to win and show that we are strong.”

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