At 31, Moussa Sissoko is among the oldest selected for the Blues with Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda.
He was called for the first time in 2009 by Raymond Domenech.
At the dawn of his 3rd major tournament after the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 and from the top of his 69 selections, he looks back on his role within the France team.
On July 10, 2016, you were the best French player in the Euro final lost against Portugal.
What do you have left of this meeting?
First of all a big disappointment because we had a very good tournament.
We deserved to raise this trophy.
And at the same time, there is a lot of personal pride in my family, my relatives.
When the list was released, some people had expressed their skepticism upon hearing my name.
As usual I didn't pay attention to it.
I had playing time at the start of the Euro, and I even started from the quarter-finals.
In the final I had a good match, but we didn't win.
So it's a mixed feeling.
Euro 2016: Sissoko welcomed as a hero in Aulnay-sous-Bois
Do you have the feeling of having finally extinguished the criticisms on your presence in the France team?
I have the impression that we hear less of this debate.
In every competition I have played, whatever you may say, and without being pretentious, I have responded by trying to meet the needs of the team.
You can always say that I could have done more, but I have no regrets.
People saw that I was giving the best of myself.
This year 2016 remains your best year in Blue?
Yes, because I have chained the matches as the starters.
2016 is my best period with the Blues.
Why have you not managed to settle permanently in midfielder in the selection?
There are other players who have arrived at this position, players with a lot of qualities.
Sometimes we also played less upscale teams where you had to attack a lot, and maybe my profile was less suited.
I am not a lineman, but an axial who can play on one side.
Afterwards, these are the choices of the coach, and then the team worked.
Moussa Sissoko: "In every competition I have played, whatever you may say, and without being pretentious, I have responded by trying to meet the needs of the team".
LP / Arnaud Journois
At 31, are you already telling yourself that you have made a success of your international career?
Whatever happens tomorrow, I can be proud of my blue race.
When I was young, my first goal was to be a professional footballer in Toulouse.
My model was Vieira, and I dreamed of doing a course like him.
But the selection was a plus.
I managed to put a foot in it, and I said to myself that I was going to do a few games.
Today, approaching the 70 selections is immense.
I will continue to enjoy it and give the best of myself to try to have more.
Besides your contribution on the ground, your role within the group always consists in integrating the young people?
It is always to support young people, but above all to take the group as far as possible.
Today's young people in the French team all play in big clubs, so they are used to big competitions.
I am a warrior, someone who gives everything on the field, I never balk.
So I push others to give the best.
Everyone places the France team as the favorite of the competition.
Isn't that a danger?
This is perfectly normal.
As a finalist of Euro 2016 and winners of the 2018 World Cup, we are the favorites and we cannot hide.
In addition there is the return of Karim (Benzema) to the team, an added value.
So we will be expected even more.
But it's up to us to meet this challenge by relieving the pressure.
How do you qualify your season with Tottenham on a personal level?
Let's say it went well until December.
I played almost every weekend.
We were even first.
Then the coach decided to change things, I was less often a holder except in the Europa League.
It didn't suit me but I gave in to what he wanted.
It's been a tough season for me mentally, but I tried to hold my head up high.
There has been a rumor of Pochettino returning to Tottenham.
How do you analyze your relationship with him knowing that your first two seasons were complicated before you impose yourself as a starter?
Even when I wasn't playing a lot, the collaboration was good.
So yes, physically it's hard, because his method pumps a lot of energy.
But I outdid myself to be part of the 11. I don't know if he will return to Tottenham or not one day, but I don't think the players would be against his return.
If you had to qualify Pochettino with one word?
What I like about him is that he can have a starting eleven, but he is going to respect all the players and everyone is going to feel involved in the job.
He acted in the same way with Lloris the captain and with the youngster who had just joined the group.
If you give it your all, you will have your chance, and you will progress.
Paul Pogba used to say that he got along well with Mourinho and that all of a sudden things were wrong, but he didn't know why.
Did you have the same feeling?
I felt the same as Paul.
Maybe the coach has his reasons.
You should ask him the question.
But for me it was hard and frustrating.
When I played, I was performing and the team too.
Then I paid the price for his desire for change.
But I did not want to abdicate, and I did well otherwise I would not be in the France team today.