France boss Didier Deschamps sad not to see Antoine Griezmann on FIFA Best shortlist

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France coach Didier Deschamps was disappointed to see no Les Bleus players nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award.

Antoine Griezmann was omitted, along with the rest of his World Cup-winning teammates, from the final three nominees for the accolade.

The finalists are Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, the same three who made up the podium for UEFA’s award.

And, while Deschamps stopped short of saying any of his squad deserved to win the award, the 49-year-old was keen to highlight Antoine Griezmann’s achievements for club and country.

“I am disappointed,” Deschamps said.

“I won’t say it’s unfair, because that would mean the three others who stay in the race would not deserve it.

“They deserve it, but what I can say is that Antoine and a few other French players would have deserved to be in the list too.

“And, I hope I will not be accused of national chauvinism, but when you consider their achievement with their national team this summer and what they have done with their clubs too, they would deserve it.

“Antoine has won the Europa League, being decisive in final. We need to accept it, votes are coming from everywhere in the world.

“I am disappointed for him and for others, as Antoine was not the only one to deserve it.”

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Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is determined to grasp latest England chance

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Alex McCarthy is determined to make sure it is third time lucky with England by grabbing this opportunity to impress Gareth Southgate.

Like so many of the Three Lions squad, the 28-year-old had to dig deep and fight to make it onto the international stage.

From loan spells in non-league to long stretches as back-up, McCarthy’s patience, determination and talent are now being rewarded at Southampton.

Having replaced Fraser Forster in December, the goalkeeper played such a key role in saving Saints from relegation that he was voted the club’s player of the season by both fans and team-mates.

Such form has seen McCarthy handed a third England call-up, with Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and surprise late addition Marcus Bettinelli providing the competition in Southgate’s squad.

“I wouldn’t say it puts more pressure on me,” the Saints goalkeeper said of Bettinelli swelling the goalkeeping ranks on Tuesday.

“I think, at the end of the day, I sort of concentrate on what I’ve got to do.

“Obviously I’ve been called up for a reason and there’s now four of us here, but it’s a time for me to go out there and prove what I can do.

“We’re away for seven or eight days, so it’s enough time to sort of show him what I can do.

“And at the end of the day, I want to give him a decision to make.

“Obviously it’s an unbelievable feeling to be back here.

“I’ve been in two squads before but that was quite a while ago, so obviously after the World Cup and everything that has gone on it’s been a positive for English football.

“It’s nice to be back involved and a part of it.”

Roy Hodgson gave McCarthy a first taste of life with England in May 2013 after impressing at Reading, before he was then surprisingly called into Sam Allardyce’s only squad two years ago following an injury to Forster.

The 28-year-old still remains uncapped, though, and is dreaming of making his debut in either the Nations League opener against Spain or the friendly meeting with Switzerland.

“We have had a positive start to the season (at Southampton) and to get the call-up was the cherry on the top,” McCarthy said.

“Obviously it will be a very proud moment for me and my family.

“When you are growing up as a kid, all you want to do is play football and represent your country.

“If I do get my chance, I know I will take it. I will be overwhelmed.”

It would be quite the occasion for McCarthy, who spent time at the likes of Team Bath and Aldershot during eight loan spells away from Reading.

The 28-year-old failed to make a mark at either QPR or Crystal Palace when he moved on, but fine displays at St Mary’s have provided the platform to join a group that he watched shine at the World Cup.

McCarthy was impressed by England’s displays and is confident that he has the ability on the ball that Southgate likes to see from goalkeepers.

“It’s a part of my game where I feel comfortable,” he added.

“Obviously a lot of managers now like the play to start from the back. It’s an area that I’ve worked on in my game for a while now, so it’d be an area I’d be comfortable in doing.

“I think the way that football is going now, it’s a massive part of the game so you’e got to be able to do that.”

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England won respect at World Cup 2018, says Tottenham star Eric Dier

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England may not have won the World Cup in Russia, but Eric Dier believes they did win respect.

Gareth Southgate’s side arrived at the tournament with modest expectations but outlasted the likes of Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Saturday’s Nations League opponents Spain to reach the semi-finals.

It was the Three Lions’ first appearance in the final four since 1990 and there was also a cathartic penalty shootout win over Colombia, with Dier converting the decisive spot-kick in Moscow.

The Tottenham midfielder claims their efforts laid down a new marker but must continue living up to their own standards – starting at Wembley.

“We’re a more respected team now, after the World Cup, but the hardest thing now is to maintain that respect,” the Tottenham midfielder talkSPORT and BBC Radio 5Live.

“There’s a a real stability at the moment. I think the manager wants that in the squad, stability and for everyone to feel like they’re part of something.

“That being the case we’re eager to build something. Even though our World Cup was so positive we still feel like we need to prove ourselves against the very best teams.

“Spain had a difficult World Cup but they’re still one of the best footballing nations and we want to compete against the best and beat the best.”

Dier has a reputation for being one of the squad’s more clear-minded thinkers, rated by Southgate as tactically astute and with a continental grounding from his formative years in Portugal.

It is, then, something of a surprise to find out he is still coming to terms with the impact of England’s campaign.

“I don’t even know if it has sunk in yet to be honest,” he said.

“Football moves so fast, it wasn’t long after the Premier League had started again and now we’re four games in and back on international duty.

“It’s kind of crazy. Being with England again and with the atmosphere there will be at the next two games, the first time playing in England since the World Cup.

“I’m sure leading up to those games we’ll really feel the effect it had. During the World Cup it was difficult for us to understand what things were like back home, hopefully we can feel a bit of that on Saturday and on Tuesday (against Switzerland) as well.”

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