France’s Les Bleus

France will be making their 14th appearance at a FIFA World Cup™. Nicknamed Les Bleus, the Europeans first appeared at the 1930 edition in Uruguay. In 2014, the French find themselves in Group E alongside Ecuador, Honduras and Switzerland.  

The French have been inconsistent at World Cups over the years.  After consecutive semi-final appearances in the 1980s, Les Bleus failed to qualify for Italia 90 as well as USA 94 before winning on home soil in 1998.  That was followed up by first round exits in 2002 and 2010 but a World Cup final was sandwiched in between these average showings.  1998 World Cup-winning captain Didier Deschamps is the coach this time around and will be looking at becoming the third man to have won the FIFA World Cup™ as a player and as a head coach.

France’s road to Brazil was not an easy task.  Deschamps’ team had to go via the Uefa play-offs where they drew Ukraine.  Things took a turn for the worst when the Eastern Europeans won 2-0 in the first leg in Kiev.  France fought back to thrash Ukraine 3-0 in Saint Denis to book a ticket to Brazil.

This year a bolstered squad that contains the likes of Karim Benzema, a key leader in Real Madrid’s attack, as well as Los Blancos teammate Raphael Verane.  Franck Ribery is a hot shot forward who has been key in Bayern Munich’s recent success and if he can find form with France, Deschamps will be eyeing glory.  Other players to watch out for will be Paul Pogba, Bacary Sagna, and Patrice Evra.

France has been placed against Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador.  In this group they will be expected to progress and there was even an outcry from certain circles that the French were looked after when the draw was conducted.