It seems like France has not been able to move on from its golden era. Back in 1998 and 2000, they were virtually unbeatable and bagged the World Cup and the Euro. However, since then, it has been a journey of failure for the team, barring the 2006 World Cup where a Zinedine Zidane-inspired team reached the finals, only to lose out in the penalty shootout. But after the madness of Raymond Domenech, Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps have brought some calmness to the side, which will help them go far in the tournament.
FIFA World Cup Team Analysis France
France had to negotiate a tough qualifying group and they could only reach the tournament finals via a play-off against Ukraine. But things do not seem to be too rosy for the team, considering that they had to come from behind to beat Ukraine in the 2 legged play-offs. Of course, some see it as an indication that this team is ready to dig in and produce the goods when needed. However, the French team needs to keep in mind that they won’t get any second chances when they reach the knockout stage and need to be on their toes from the get-go.
The biggest surprise in the team selection from Deschamps was the omission of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy. While one can understand that the manager went for the experience of Patrice Evra over Clichy, Nasri was more of a surprise considering the good form he’s been in coming off the back of a title-winning campaign for Manchester City. However, Deschamps seems to have taken his off-field behavior into consideration and chosen not to pick him for the campaign for the good of squad morale. Whether this will come back to haunt the French team is something we’ll have to wait and watch.
After a tough qualification campaign, France would have heaved a sigh of relief to be drawn in a relatively easy group. Their opponents in the group are Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras. Barring the Swiss, France would have no problem in dispatching the other two teams and finishing on top of the group. Of course, complacency would be their biggest enemy. If the team thinks that all they have to do is turn up to win, then they might be in for a shock. But the world cup does not provide for such a complacent atmosphere, and as the 2002 campaign showed, it will be a disaster if they do not be on top of their game.
World Cup chances
France are perhaps not the favourites when it comes to winning the World Cup. With so many other teams having talented players who are more in contention for the top prize, it will take a superhuman effort for France to even get into the semifinals. Though they have the likes of Paul Pogba and Frank Ribery, one gets the idea that it will not be enough to make a big impact in this tournament unless they play their socks off!