World Cup Football Boots: France
Fifa Ranking: 9
Path to World Cup
France left it late and were involved in perhaps the most controversial of journeys to the World Cup finals. Serbia topped their group, so France scraped through in second place. Even that wasn’t completely straightforward, having to rely on an extra time goal from the hand of Thierry Henry. Mind you, they made it to the final in 2006 and they struggled to qualifying that campaign too!
Nicola Anelka and Franck Ribery.
Anelka is finally the French main man in attack. With Thierry Henry’s ageing legs and lack of game time at Barcelona, Anelka will be relied upon to get spearhead the French attack. When he’s up for it, Anelka is world class and in his final World Cup finals, perhaps he’ll put the effort in and inspire France.
Franck Ribery has not had the best of seasons, but will savour the opportunity to shine for his home nation. Quick, strong and with a habit of cutting in onto his left foot to shoot, Ribery will cause opponents trouble.
Unpopular with the French public and senior players, Raymond Domenech needs a good performance to win people over. He was almost sacked ahead of the 2006 finals, but steered the ageing French team to the finals, where they lost out. Remember the Zidane head-butt?
Prediction – Quarter finalists
Upsetting Benzema and Samir Nasri were left out of this team. I don’t think France will get very far with all the problems they’ve been having.