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France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris plays down Giroud-Mbappe rift

:Headline: France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris plays down Giroud-Mbappe rift:
Olivier Giroud criticised service from his teammates after scoring twice in a 3-0 friendly win over Bulgaria.
Sports Mole

France captain Hugo Lloris insisted there were no rifts in the camp as he played down the public spat between strikers Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.

The world champions begin their Euro 2020 campaign on Tuesday evening with a tantalising Group F clash against three-time winners Germany.

Chelsea man Giroud criticised the service of his team-mates after scoring twice as a substitute in last week's 3-0 warm-up win over Bulgaria, with Paris St Germain star Mbappe unhappy the matter was not kept private.

Goalkeeper Lloris brushed off the disagreement and believes Les Bleus have a healthy team spirit going into their tournament opener in Munich.

"Mbappe and Giroud they had maybe a short discussion but that's normal – it's nothing unusual," the 34-year-old told a press conference.

"There are different opinions in the locker room, this can happen.

"It didn't harm the team at all. We've a great team spirit. I think we dealt with it very well.

Olivier Giroud lifted the World Cup with France three years ago (Owen Humphreys/PA)

"Kylian had to say something, but this is something he said in the past. We are focused now on our first match in this competition."

Giroud, who is five goals short of matching Thierry Henry's record haul of 51 for France, was brought on in the first half of that friendly in Paris due to Karim Benzema being withdrawn as an injury precaution.

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps has a fully-fit squad to select from at the Allianz Arena, with Mbappe, Benzema, Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele among a wealth of attacking options.

Tottenham player Lloris believes the star-studded frontline will strike fear into the Germans, but stressed the team requires balance to be successful.

"These are world-class players who have been playing at the top level," he said.

"I understand that our opponents may be afraid of our attack and that we are praised for the attack we have.

"But we can only achieve success through the collective. It will be important to keep the right balance and be focused against such a great opponent as Germany."

Deschamps guided France to the final of Euro 2016 on home turf before recovering from an unconvincing start at the 2018 World Cup in Russia to succeed Germany as champions.

Didier Deschamps is targeting more glory with France (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The 52-year-old, a world and European champion as a player in 1998 and 2000 respectively, believes the best two teams in the competition will meet in Bavaria but maintains victory at such an early stage is not vital.

"We didn't start too well in that tournament in 2018 but it doesn't matter at the end if you see what came out," said Deschamps.

"The first match is important but it is not decisive. We're the best two teams in Europe, so it's all about being clinical in attack and focused defending."

Joachim Low is preparing for his final tournament as Germany head coach and believes his squad are brimming with ambition and enthusiasm.

The 61-year-old, who won the 2014 World Cup during a tenure which began 15 years ago, is set to be replaced by former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick.

"There is huge anticipation. We are looking forward to the start for us against the reigning world champion, this is something special," Low told a press conference.

"In the team there is a lot of eagerness and ambition, this is what you can feel. All players are hungry, are greedy, they want to be successful and this makes me feel confident and sleep well at night."

Speaking about his impending departure, he said: "Maybe in a few weeks when the tournament is done then I might be sad but not at the moment, I am focused on our task here."

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Jonas Hoffman is the only player unavailable to Low.

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