≡ Menu

France's World Cup Preview: The Team

Thierry Henry
Creative Commons License photo credit: themikelee

THE PAST

France is historically one of the most successful nations in the World Cup and in the last twenty years it is hard to find too many squads that have produced the type of results that France has accomplished.  The nation has advanced to the semi-final match five times in their career and the finals twice in the last three World Cups.  When they were the hosting nation of the event in 1998 they took home the title beating Brazil in the final 3-0.  After a disappointing first round exit the following Cup, the club regained their form and made a brilliant run last World Cup in 2006.  Well you probably know how that worked out for them, but entering this Cup France is still considered one of the best in the world.   

THE PRESENT

France didn’t exactly impress this recent WCQ and after narrowly making it into the two match aggregate playoff battle with Ireland the club survived the cut by a great deal of help through poor officiating.  Well we have all heard about Henry’s handball and we all know that FIFA is pretty ignorant when it comes to instant replay, but on the other hand not having France in the World Cup would be a very strange affair.  The club has one of the most potent offenses in the tournament with Henry and Anelka up top.  They also have a great defense that should provide some clean sheets as well.  France might be in the perfect position right now because many underrate their high level of talent due to mediocre form in the WCQ.

THE PREDICTION

France has one of the most respected lines in the World Cup when it comes to betting.  Some sites have them as low as 12 to 1 odds where on some other sites their odds skyrocket all the way up to 25 to 1.  The truth is that the club could not have lucked out anymore then they did by landing in Group A.  If the club would have landed in any other group then they would have to play a real first seeded team instead of South Africa.  So having a #4 seed didn’t really hurt the club because of this good fortune.  Expect France to not only survive Group A, but expect them to go pretty far in the tournament as well.  I think they will make it to at least the quarterfinals and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it once again to the final four spots in the tourney.

1 comment… add one
  • seanachie March 15, 2010, 9:18 am

    The World Cup did very well without France in 1962, 1974, 1990 and 1994. And, apart from the Zidane-led revolt in Germany four years ago, they have brought nothing to a major tournament in the last ten years. To speak of France having a right to participation in the World Cup any greater than Ireland (who outplayed them over two legs) or anyone else is nonsense.

    France’s draw might look easy on the face of it but there is a strong chance of them slipping up in the first two games against opposition that will not be in any way intimidated by them. And will les bleus themselves fancy going into the third match needing a win against the hosts who usually tend to be favoured by referees in decisive matches? France won’t do much at the World Cup because, regardless of the undoubted talent at their disposal, there’s a culture of spinelessness that runs through the whole set-up, right from the top of the FFF (the fact that Domenech is still in a job speaks volumes) all the way down to the subs bench (I’m thinking of you, Benzema). 1998 and 2000 are a long way in the past and there’s no Zidane to come to the rescue this time.

Leave a Comment