Didier Deschamps felt Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Germany proved France are progressing well going into a World Cup year.
Les Bleus impressed in Cologne as they twice took the lead against the world champions through Alexandre Lacazette, and the visitors came within seconds of recording a deserved victory.
Lars Stindl denied them that result with a stoppage-time leveller and although disappointed, Deschamps was able to find plenty of positives.
“We were closer to winning and scoring a third goal, so there is disappointment,” said the France boss.
“It was a mistake at the end, but overall I am very proud of my players, this was a good performance against a good German team who had a little more control than us.
“We were able to put them in difficulty. We created a lot of opportunities, six or seven, on a series of moves with a lot of speed and accuracy, we did not do everything well, but neither did the Germans.
“The collective performance of the France team was very good tonight, with different players, a different system, but a lot of quality.”
Deschamps used the friendly to give the likes of Lacazette, Anthony Martial and Adrien Rabiot the chance to shine, and after their impressive displays he admits picking a final squad for Russia 2018 will be difficult.
“It was not an exam, but I had warned them all that everyone had to take advantage of the playing time they would have,” he added.
“They have responded positively. My choices will be difficult, Joachim Low is in the same situation a little.
“We have room for improvement, we are not going to be more beautiful than we are, but we are on the right road.”