France Team Fact Box

2010-05-11 11:16
Previous appearances in finals: 12

Nicknames:
Les Bleus (The Blues)
L'Equipe Tricolore (The Tri-color Team)

Best performance:
Winners 1998
Runners-up: 2006

Coach:
Raymond Domenech. An uncompromising defender with limited skills and eight caps for France, Domenech replaced Jacques Santini after France's disappointing Euro 2004 campaign. Has never won a title as coach despite a long spell with France's Under-21 side, but guided France to the 2006 World Cup final. Under heavy criticism since the Euro 2008 flop. A poor qualifying campaign and a controversial playoff win over Ireland did nothing to boost his popularity.

Captain: Thierry Henry

Key players:

Thierry Henry
Age: 32
Position: Striker
Club: Barcelona
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances (1998, 2002, 2006): 12
Goals: 6

France's most prolific striker with 51 goals from 117 caps and the team's captain, Henry remains a dangerous marksman, although he is not quite the player he was for France and Arsenal in his prime. The main question is whether he will have recovered from the scandal sparked by his handball in the playoff against Ireland.

Franck Ribery
Age: 26
Position: Forward or midfielder
Club: Bayern Munich
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances (2006): 7
Goals: 1

Energetic player with amazing skills who burst into the limelight at the 2006 World Cup and has matured to become one of the world's top players. Often used as a winger by Domenech but happy to take over the playmaking duties. Has been hampered by a string of injuries and was sorely missed in the latter stages of France's dismal qualifying campaign. Is currently involved in an under-age sex scandal which has blighted his personal reputation, although is still a key player for Bayern Munich, and is being sought by Premiership club Manchester United.

Yoann Gourcuff
Age: 23
Position: Midfielder
Club: Girondins Bordeaux
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers appearances (2010): 10
Goals: 1

A classy playmaker with unique skills, vision and game intelligence, not unlike the great Zinedine Zidane. Gourcuff is inspirational when on song but has sometimes looked lost on the pitch when France needed him most, notably during the playoff against Ireland. France's World Cup performance will much depend on how he fares on the pitches of South Africa.

FIFA world ranking May 2010: 7

How they qualified: France needed an infamous playoff win against Ireland to scrape through after a series of lacklustre displays. Put themselves in trouble by starting off with a shock 3-1 defeat in Austria and kept struggling after that despite featuring in a seemingly manageable group.

Prospects: Their poor qualifying campaign does not mean they should be ruled out. They have enough talent to intimidate anybody, providing their best players are fully fit and they can put their act together as a team, which was hardly ever the case in qualifying.

World Cup 2010 Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux)

Defenders: 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)

Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal/ENG), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid/ESP), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon)

Strikers: 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)



Captain Thierry Henry will be looking to rectify recent bad press at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)
Read more on: france

More In This Category

Everything you need to know about New Zealand: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about USA: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about Uruguay: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about Switzerland: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk