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World Cup 2010 Focus: France Les Bleus

Posted by Walker Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Guest writer/James Dielhenn

France will go to South Africa with an outside chance of bringing home the trophy for the second time, but they are coming off the back of recent disappointing form. In fact, the under-performing French only qualified for this summer’s tournament after a controversial extra-time goal in their play-off with the Republic of Ireland from their captain Thierry Henry.

Coach Raymond Domenech undoubtedly has the quality in his squad to mount a challenge this summer. He has had his own personal critics of his managerial ability, and his job will be taken by Laurent Blanc after the World Cup regardless of France’s finish. Domenech’s squad selection has routinely caused debate, with the omission of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and ex-Inter and Juventus veteran Patrick Vieira particularly stoking the fires.

William Gallas of Arsenal is in the squad, although his participation is still unknown due to injury. His club teammates Gael Clichy, Bakary Sagna and Abou Diaby also feature for Domenech, but Roma’s Phillipe Mexes has been left out. Chelsea duo Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka will provide attacking threat, alongside the highly-rated Franck Ribery, and ex-Milan flop Yoann Gourcuff.

Lassana Diarra of Real Madrid has been ruled out with an intestinal illness, depriving France of their best natural anchor man in midfield.

The much-maligned Domenech admitted: “We’ve had difficulties for two years now, but everyone kept believing and they were justified in doing so. We grabbed hold of the right to take part in something exceptional - a World Cup in South Africa.”

France aren’t one of the favorites due to their recent poor form, but the number of top players in their squad surely means they can’t be ruled out. A group that includes Mexico, Uruguay, and the hosts South Africa shouldn’t prevent the French from progressing to the latter stages.

France’s provisional FIFA World Cup squad: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux); William Gallas (Arsenal/ENG), Eric Abidal (Barcelona/ESP), Bakary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Gael Clichy (Arsenal/ENG), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla/ESP); Abou Diaby (Arsenal/ENG), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon); Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea/ENG), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos/GRE), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona/ESP), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

France will go to South Africa with an outside chance of bringing home the trophy for the second time, but they are coming off the back of recent disappointing form

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  1. Jay Scardina Said:
  2. Even thought they qualified under controversy, no one should underestimate them. There is a lot of quality on the team. There are not in the toughest of groups, and any team underestimating them could be their biggest advantage.

  3. Offside Sarah Said:
  4. I have to say, I felt this was a very fair preview - which is rare to find these days so thanks! Though, I don't know why people are going on about Mexes- in the past he should have been called up. That time has passed- my impression is that he didn't even play consistently for Roma this season. Plus, he has no confidence when playing for the Bleus. Each appearance has been a D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R! I think Gallas, Abidal, Planus and Squillaci were all better chocies for the centerback position. I would pick Squillaci's club partner, Escude, over Mexes as well...


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