Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo and France coach Didier Deschamps revealed Les Bleus set out at half-time of Saturday's 14-0 win over Gibraltar to set a new record win.
Leading 7-0 after the opening 45 minutes of their UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, Todibo said the squad set themselves a new goal at the break: do better than the 10-0 scoreline racked up by France against Azerbaijan in 1995.
"We respected the coach's instructions, which were to respect our opponents," said Todibo, who won his second senior international cap on his club ground. "We played to our level and that gave that result. Before the start of the game, we weren't aware [of the record], we weren't focussed on that. But at half-time, we said to ourselves, 'Why not?' We had the qualities, we did it, it's good for us.
"We had to stay focused, not give our opponents reason to hope, even if there came a time when there wasn't much hope for them anymore. We had to ensure our opponents didn't score to get another clean sheet, that was the objective."
Captain Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick in the rout, two of which came in a second half during which the players were determined to make history as well as pick up the win that ensures they will be among the top seeds at next summer's EURO final tournament in Germany.
"The players asked me at half-time about the record," said Deschamps. "They did what they needed to do to go past it and go well past it. You can't just play that down, even if we were up against an opponent that was weaker on paper and had been reduced to ten men. We did everything to make it such a big scoreline. That's the ambition in this team, more than being top seeds at the EURO; there are always demands that can be set. It's good that the players set themselves new challenges almost all the time."