Didier Deschamps spoke of his pride after his France side marked his 100th match as manager with a 2-0 win in Albania.
Antoine Griezmann scored one after setting up the opener for Corentin Tolisso as the world champions secured top spot in their Euro 2020 qualifying group.
Olivier Giroud also hit the woodwork in the second half as France enjoyed a comfortable evening in Tirana to finish two points ahead of Turkey in Group H.
World Cup-winning boss Deschamps said in comments reported by L’Equipe: “I’ve had a lot of testimonials from all of my staff, my president and my players, and it warms my heart.
“I depend a lot on the players, those who were here today and those present from the beginning who allowed the team of France to gain these very good results.
“It’s a personal pride but I’m especially proud to see what they do together with that spirit.”
Deschamps feels his side have had to prove themselves again because their World Cup win has made them a target for opponents.
He said: “We have eight wins, one draw and one loss. We are doing better than two years ago.
“The bar was higher with what we had last summer.”
France must now wait to see if they will be one of the six group winners to earn a top seeding at next summer’s tournament.
Deschamps said: “We cannot do better than first. It may have needed more points but some big nations can also find themselves in hats three or four.
“We did what we wanted to do. We have what we deserve.”