Payet has chance to leave lasting impression at Euro 2016

PARIS: France has found a new star in match-winner Dimitri Payet, who has a chance to follow in the footsteps of other talismanic players by making a lasting impression on a major tournament.

Not since Zinedine Zidane has France had someone who plays with such a mixture of grace and efficiency.

No wonder coach Didier Deschamps hugged Payet when he came off moments from the end of France's scrappy 2-1 win against Romania on Friday.

His powerful strike against Romania was even more remarkable because it was on his weaker left foot.

His stronger right foot operates with chilling accuracy, generating astonishing velocity despite a velvety way of caressing the ball with his instep, rather than kicking through it.

"He has an incredible touch, whether it's with his left foot or right foot," Giroud said. "He's taken on another dimension and must continue like this."