Raphael Varane says France must avoid comparing their current squad to the team that won the 2018 World Cup, after reaching the knockout stage at Qatar 2022.
Les Bleus are looking to defend the title they won in Russia, and are into the last 16 after opening victories against Australia and Denmark in Group D.
Varane, who returned from an injury sustained on club duty with Manchester United to feature in his country's second game, was a member of Didier Deschamps' side that beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow four years ago.
But the centre-back says the current crop must dodge the pitfalls of measuring their current achievements against those set before, despite the presence of several World Cup-winning players.
"You have to avoid making too many comparisons," he stated. "This is another moment, and you have to be present.
"Each major tournament has its history, with different players and contexts. Four years in football is an eternity.
"We can draw inspiration from before, from the state of mind that we had then, but we must not try to copy."
1 - France are the first nation to reach the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup. This is the first time the reigning champions have reached the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006. Champions. #FRADAN pic.twitter.com/9mArtA7klC— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 26, 2022
France – who play Tunisia in their final group game on Wednesday – will be without World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez for the rest of the tournament after he suffered a knee injury in their opening clash with Australia.
His brother Theo has deputised at left-back since, replacing Hernandez in the first half against Australia and continuing in the position against Denmark.
Reflecting on his sibling's injury, Theo Hernandez claimed his brother has requested the World Cup be brought back for him, saying: "Since he left [the squad], I have spoken with him every day.
"He tells me that we have to win, to bring him back the World Cup. We will have to work hard to continue like this though."