Friendly, not so friendly France - Spain in Paris

Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann
Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann FRANCK FIFE / AFP

No points nor titles at stake in Tuesday’s football match between Spain and France but when two international teams of this star-status meet, nothing’s friendly anymore.


France takes on Spain in a "glamour" friendly on Tuesday, just as coach Didier Deschamps looks to rotate his squad in a bid to extend a seven-match unbeaten streak.

Fresh from a 3-1 victory over Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier at the weekend, the Euro 2016 runners-up will line up against a Spanish side that has dipped since winning the treble of two Euros (2008, 2012) and the 2010 World Cup, but remains strong on paper.

Spain reigned supreme from 2008 to 2012, winning three straight major international tournaments -- two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup -- before falling on harder times recently.

"It's a glamour fixture,” said Deschamps.

“It's a neighbouring country and, as against Italy and England, there is a distinctive flavour."

"It will be a test. It's not at all the same style of match as Saturday [against Luxembourg]. It's good to have adversity, to suffer even and be put in difficulty. It's more appealing to play matches against opponents like Spain."

As for any friendly - and with this game falling between World Cup qualifiers and a heavy club schedule - Deschamps will likely rotate his squad, notably with the League Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco scheduled for Saturday.

"I'll try to give the maximum number of my players some game time," he added.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa, scorer of one of the goals in Spain's 4-1 win over Israel in Friday's World Cup qualifier, suffered an ankle injury in training on Sunday which could rule him out of the friendly.

"He is staying with the squad but his participation in the game on Tuesday in Paris is uncertain," the Spanish federation said.

And in this match video technology will be used for the first time in France.

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