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Viva la France.... Boy do I love France, the food, the wine, the women, the countryside, shall I go on, maybe not but being just over 20 miles from our coastline, (Dover) France is a must to visit. Pop over in just over 1hr on those big car ferry's (even quicker on eurotunnel) and moments later enjoy a strong Espresso with a Croissant in a rustic cafe.(wonderful) In the evening in France why not explore the local Town/City or Village and discover fantastic Bar's and Restaurant's. In my opinion the best place to be on holiday is in a popular local French Bistro having a good steak and French fries (chips) , served with house wine mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. To sum up France, (you've got to go for yourself to discover such a great country) is that with its beautiful people, cusine (frogs legs/snails/cheeses etc), wine, roads, architecture, women, markets, bars, restaurants, hotels, patisseries, amazing language, 2cv's/citroens, old men wearing their french berets, stench of garlic, locals bickering in the streets, supermarches (playing loud pop music), mopeds with noisey exhausts, grasshoppers, buzzing nightlife, and so much more. I am so confident that you will like France that I am willing to refund all your personal travel expenses (haha), so why not make plans for a visit this summer right now. I'm saving right now for a small flat in Paris (onlooking that stunning river, The Saine. (wish me luck LOL)
Having seen France's performance against Brazil, one can't help but admire their performance, particularly Zidane, who for me was the man of the match. He seemed calm and cool throughout the game and overshadowed Ronaldinho who has been very poor throughout this tournament. France should beat Portugal fairly easily on this form. Portugal looked very average against a very average England side. I can't help but look forward to see Christiano Ronaldo's face when he is out. There are many that will dislike the guy after his bad sportsmanship against England. It was he that got Rooney sent off, and yet they play for the same team (Manchester United). I doubt United will keep Ronaldo now because Rooney will probably hate him, I know I would! So can France win it? I think it all depends on whether Germany beat Italy. For me Germany and France have hit their peak and should meet each other in the final. Germany will be favourites being the hosts, but France are showing a lot more pace in their side in recent games. This really could be the match of the tournament and I think it could be very close. But I think Klose will score and win it for Germany 1-0.
Arrogant, injuries and age that?s all I can say for the French team. They came in to the World Cup 2002 one of the favourites to win and retain the cup, with the worlds best players Theirry Henry top goal scorer in England, Zinedine Zidane one of the worlds most skillful and tactful players, Patrick Vieira Arsenals strength in midfield the list goes on. France put out a team that on paper would take them through to the World Cup final and win it for them, but due to the fact that they had won the cup 4 years previous they thought that they were just going for a walk in the park. Perhaps the French could blame it on their recent injury problems; the man to watch out for in the tournament was injured in a meaningless friendly against Korea in May. This ruled him out of the first two games that France were to play against Senegal and Uruguay, which figured to be costly as they went down a goal to nil against Senegal and just managed to hang on to a goalless draw against Uruguay. He then came back, heavily strapped up, ready for the meeting with Denmark but by this time the cup was out of their reach, with team spirit at an all time low they went out and lost two nil to Denmark. England football player of the year Robert Pires was another player that France had hoped to make a big impression in the world cup. He was another player that had fallen in to Frances injury category with a knee injury that ruled him out in March. But with these injury problems France still put out a team that were still odds on to retain the cup. Another reason may have been the age of the team, the team that they put out for the World Cup 1998 and again in Euro 2000 was a strong, extremely talented and skilled won the tournaments for them. These players were in their primes of international football at this time but now they are well past the international stage with most player in their thirties players such as Fabien Barthez 31, Marcel Desailly 33. Frank Leboeuf 34, Bixente Lizarazu 32, Lilian Thuram 30, Youri Djorkaeff 34 and Emanul Petit 31. I feel that Coach Roger Lemerre just played the winners of the World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000 just one competition too far. They may have old players but they still have young and international superstar players such as Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet who are both 24 who both could have made a great impression if they hadn?t of had such big egos after winning the two previous tournaments. We can?t put all the reasons down to France; they met very capable teams in all three of their games. In the first game they came up against Senegal a very strong African side with great player such as El Hadji Diouf the lens striker, Pape Bouba Diop also a lens player but a midfielder and Ferdinand Coly another lens player but a defender. These players are at the peak of their football career that helped them come through the first game with a one nil win with Diop scoring. Then coming up against a strong Uruguay team who held the French to a goalless draw. Then to the crucial game for France against Denmark, but it just wasn?t to be for France as they crashed out, with a two nil defeat against a strong Danish team. Goals from Dennis Rommedahl and Jon Dahl Tomasson ensured that France became the first reigning World Cup champions since Brazil in 1966 to fail to reach the second round. Overall I feel that France did not deserve to qualify and their performances showed this! A well organised World Cup 2002
The world cup holders are out of the competition, without even reaching the knockout stage. Even before the competition France had serious doubters after their arguably best player, Zinedine Zidane, injured himself in a warm up match against South Korea. With an ageing team, France were still looking favourites to progress through the competition, and as European Champions they knew how to win on all levels. France's first match was against the new boys in the competition, Senegal. The African nation was highly underrated, and Frane looked arrogant when confronted with the newcomers. Constantly struggling through the match they were shot down by the Senegal striker Papa Bouba Diop, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool. Although their complacancy showed in this game the French were not writing off their chances. After all it was the first game. Next up was Uraguay, a team branded by the French side as "dirty". French nationals such as Cantona were already playing down the chances of France reaching the knockout stage, claiming defensive frailties were the weakness of the team. Thierry Henry's red card did not help the french cause and a lackluster performance was lucky to see the French not lose a late goal to the South Americans. The position after this game was clear. The French had to beat Denmark by two clear goals to qualify for the next round. Again the French coaches were playing up the situation, revealing that qualification was still a high possibility. No-one else, though, was regarding France as a threat to anyone. The position before the game against Denmark was clear, a two goal win and both teams would go through. 20 minutes into the game and Denmark certainly hadn't read the script as Rommedahl, slid a ball past the hapless Bartez, and France's cause looked desperate. Although the French had more passion in this game and threw wav e after wave of attacking movement at the Danish defence, the hammerblow came when Jon Dhal Tomasson fired home his second half goal. France were now dead in the water and Denmark's defence withstood attack after attack from france. The French were out of the world cup, without even scoring a goal. This was hardly the kind of performace which would see the Parisians dancing around L'arc de Triomphe. C'est la Vie!!!
The first game of each World Cup finals tournament is notoriously a difficult hurdle for both sides. The competition's curtain raiser is traditionally the opening battle for either the host nation or the holders, and in 2002 it was the supposedly invincible French side who got to kick things off, with a supposedly easy tussle with one of the tournament's pushover teams, tiny Senegal. The world champions had gone into the match with very high hopes. The pre tournament favourites were strongly fancied to roll imperiously through their group with little problem, but the plucky Africans had clearly not seen the script, for they battled and fought and eventually got the just desserts for their high pressure game and never say die attitude. Denmark and Uruguay, the other two sides in this group must have been laughing their socks off as France threw everything at their inferior opponents in the second half but all to no avail, because now the world champions are up against it to win the group which seemed set to present little threat to their ambitions of retaining their crowns. France had gone into the game without their talisman, Zinedine Zinedane, due to an injury in a pre tournament friendly, but had looked to have an easy ride in their opening match against a side making their debut in the World Cup finals. However, Senegal gave substance to the claim that there are no easy games in international football these days and their high tempo pressing game sapped the invention and style out of their high class opponents and left the French relying on the lofted ball up the middle for most of the time. Youri Djourkaeff, who helped Bolton rescue their Premiership status over the last eight weeks of the English season, was the deputy for the Algerian playmaker, but was the only player on show not considered a first choice. The regular line up was on show here, with the sparkling talents of Barthez, Thuran, Lizarazu, Desailly, L e Boeuf, Wiltord, Petit, Vieira, Henry and Trezeguet all present and correct. I had the pleasure of watching this match on a big screen in a French bar in Brittany because I was on holiday for the opening day of the finals, and it was noticeable that the normally arrogant French fans cheering on Les Bleus amidst the beer glasses and gitanes were just that little bit tense as their heroes took the field following the glitzy opening ceremony and as time went on and Trezeguet and Henry showed little sign of piercing a well drilled African defence they began bemoaning the amateurish antics of their latter day heroes. Their were knowing bowed heads and uttered oaths as the unfancied African forwards set about the favourites with a will and denied their classy opponents the space to pull them apart. Desailly and Vieira had little space available to exert their magic and for the most part were forced to look deeper than desirable for their pass, relying on square balls to the back four for their outlet. Lizarazu was busy and Desailly operated for the most part as an auxiliary midfielder, but Frank Le Boeuf was often stretched by physically impressive opponents. Trezeguet and Henry had been billed as world class finishers. But they were given little space and rarely threatened the Senegal defence, with most of their thrusts being of the route one variety straight down the middle, giving the Africans every chance to clear their lines. In the end, the only clear chance of the first 45 minutes saw the Africans break adroitly down the left against the oddly out of touch Lilian Thuran and drive the ball into the penalty area. Fabien Barthez could only parry the ball off one of his defenders and a grounded African striker was in the right spot at the right time to flick the ball home and give Senegal a totally unexpected half time lead. There was much downing of le vino and la biere over the break as my companions drowned their sorr ows and bemoaned their luck. They pointed earnestly to the missed chances and the greater share of possession they had enjoyed, with the woodwork denying them on one occasion, but there was little of substance behind their idle threats. If truth be known, France had been sadly disappointing in the first 45 minutes, with the Senegalese for the most part matching the big reputation men in midfield and covering up well at the back. Desailly and Le Boeuf had never been given an easy ride at the back, although they had dealt with most of the pedestrian attacks easily enough. Senegal had set their stall out to play a high tempo containing game and had run their socks off to prevent their back four being too often exposed. In the second half the French manager threw on Christophe Dugarry and the striking Cisse but neither made much impact. I remember Dugarry as a bustling target man before his career threatening injury, but now he was a like for like replacement for Djorkaeff in the midfield, looking sadly out of touch for the most part. He might have been better deployed fighting it out with Senegal's rugged centre backs to give Henry and Trezeguet a rare sight of goal. Cisse had one decent turn and run but the Senegal left back blocked off his approach before he could gain any momentum and that was the last we saw of his threat. There was the anticipated huff and puff over the last half hour as the French threw in everything but the kitchen sink, although if truth be known Senegal resisted the assaults with some assurance and never really looked like surrendering their advantage. France must still be favoured to secure the top spot in their group, but looked a pedestrian outfit on this evidence. Against more testing opposition they will doubtless rouse themselves, but for now their chances of retaining the trophy look slim. The only consolation, I guess, is that they cannot be expected to perform quite as badly again. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And so the impossible happened, the mighty French, the pre-tournament favourites, the reigning champions, the side packed with stars, including the warriors who brought home the bacon for Arsenal, slipped sadly out of World Cup without a goal or a win to their credit, the first time that the previous winners have gone out in the first round since mighty Brazil, Pele and all, were booted out of the 1966 World Cup finals in England. It's difficult to believe, because back home all the supporters had convinced themselves that it would be a procession. Senegal, Uruguay, Denmark, none of these could seriously challenge Les Bleus and surely they would be going through to a showdown in the final against Argentina. Well, it certainly didn't turn out that way, as we all know by now. France went into their final game in this group, knowing that they would need to beat Denmark by two clear goals to get through to the last 16. That shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of the unknown Senegalese in the first match was pretty widely dismissed as being just one of those things, something the French would quickly put behind them, to still qualify with a bit to spare. Even the continuing absence of their playmaker Zinedine Zidane would only have a marginal effect on their performance. We already knew that France would be without Robert Pires for the tournament, which was a serious blow, but even the absence of blow Pires and Zidane could not damage the French challenge. After all, they still had Henry, Trezeguet, Desailly, Petit, Lizarazu, Thuran and the rest, there was little on show with the other teams to trouble them. The biggest danger seemed to come from the South American magic of Uruguay, except it didn't. The second game, against the South Americans, which France still without Zidane, lookeds crucial, but seemed to be easily within the grip of the French, but then Thierry Henry was dismissed and with him went their hopes. The match petered out into a dull goalless draw, leaving the French on a precipice. Senegal and Denmark had drawn in the other game in the group, leaving France still with a chance but they would have to beat Denmark by two clear goals in the final game in order to get through. The French public were already turning against their heroes big time. The mighty Zidane would be risked, despite his injury in this final game because France had little option, it was going for broke time. If they couldn't win, there would be nothing left. We all know now that Zidane may have played a marvellous game, and France may have been unlucky on numerous occasions, but the sad fact is that the former Masters are now gone, their crowns and their reputations all in tatters. There will be no showdown against England or Argentina or Brazil, just the headlines and the moaning and the bitterness back home to look forward to. The kings are dead, long live the new rulers. In retrospect, all the excuses are being trotted out. Zidane and Pires, of course, were missing. This was an ageing team, shorn of competitive football on the international stage. The tactics were all wrong and we still didn't have a recognised goalscorer. We should have gone for youth, we should have gone for wingers, we should have gone for virtually anything which we didn't have. Well, it's all too late now, all so easy with the superior perspective of hindsight to be clever, an awful lot of pounds, francs, euros and dollars will have been sunk in foolhardy bets on Les Bleus, and we've got those lovely chaps, the bookies, laughing all the way to the bank. It's a sad end to a wonderful story and a marvellous period in football for the French, the once team supreme whom we all thought were near invincible, a new regime which would reign for years to come. I remember the marvellous French victory on thei r home soil in 1998 when they blitzed Brazil in the final. They had won the tournament without a recognised goalscorer then, fashioning their triumph on an impregnable defence, Blanc and Barthez, and all. In the last European Championships, they seemed to have come of age and discovered unstoppable flair. Well that age is now over, officially, the French are on the next flight home, left with nothing but dreams of what might have been and fears of what they still have to face when they get home to an unsympathetic public. They were undoubtedly extremely unlucky today against the Danes with some amazing near misses, but just as Fate was very much with them in 1998, it was very much without them in 2002. Senegal may not have deserved their victory, but the French had paid the penalty for their complacency, and their best chance of qualification had gone. In truth, they should have strolled this group and picked up maximum points from their three games, but didn't have the expected reserves and bottle when it really counted. The football and the style had been wonderful to watch when they were in their pomp, but the truth is that the zest and the vigour had disappeared from the French game in recent months. It's hard to feel much sympathy for players who have lorded it over the world in the last few years and done so with arrogance among all that style, a bit like the Germans used to be. Still, it's never nice to see how low the greatest can fall when the chips are down. Still, who we to complain, now that England (if they manage to see off Nigeria tomorrow) do not have to face a world power in the last 16. A match against either Senegal or Denmark is gonna be bad enough for us after the passion of that Argentina game. Still, mustn't gloat too soon, I can see us managing to lose to either even if we manage to get what we need against Nigeria.
The great team of 1998 1998 WINNERS Fabien Barthez Lionel Charbonnier Bernard Lama Laurent Blanc Vincent Candela Marcel Desailly Frank Leboeuf Bixente Lizarazu Lilian Thuram Alain Boghossian Didier Deschamps Youri Djorkaeff Christian Karembeu Emmanuel Petit Patrick Vieira Zinedine Zidane Bernard Diomede Christophe Dugarry Stephane Guivarc'h Thierry Henry Robert Pires David Trezeguet The same players able to win in 2000 the european championship with coach Jaquet In May 2002, in Japan and Korea they will try to confirm their leaderhip, they hope to be the first european team to win Worldcup outside Europe. They seem to be better than in 2000. The players are the same , but their skill seems to be improved. David Trezeguet is actually one of the best forwards in the world, best scorer in Champion's League with Juventus Traditionally, France has always had some problems with the offensive players, before Trezeguet explosion, they never foung a really good forward player. The star of France is Zinedine Zidane. Players like Thuram, Candela, Lizarazu, Pires, Desailly, Vieira are all great champions I think that France is one of the favourite teams for the Worldcup...France, Italy and Argentina, I'm sure the winner will be one of them
The key to the French teams sucess I beleive, is the fact that their squad plays in a mixture of different leagues. For example they've got Henry and Bathez in the English League with Arsenal and Man Utd, Petit and Richard Dutruel is the Spanish League with Barcelona and Zindane in the Italian League with Juventus, and more. Of course they have players from the French League in their squad but having so many players play different styles of football in different leagues gives them a perfect balance and more depth to their squad. If we look at the English Squad we've got Steve McManaman playing for Real Madrid and Owen Hargreaves playing for Bayern Munich but thats it. Hopefully Sol Campbel will go abroad and develop his game even more. All the great national sides - Brazil, Argentina - all their players play in foreign leagues and it makes their squads better. If English football is to move on we will have to do this.
I think I know the reson why France has been so succesful in recent years, winning the World and European Cups. Just look at their domestic league. To be frank it is poor at best. Bordeaux and Paris SG cannot compete with the best in Europe, and with a few exceptions they are nowhere near Man U, Juventus, Real Madrid, etc. So the answer? Look at the top players they move abroad. The domestic league is not good enough so they play in the Italian, German and English leagues. Zidane for Juve, Henry Pires and Wiltord for the Arsenal and Barthez for Man Utd. They all go off and play in bigger and better forigne leagues, and it helps the national team no end. Look at the proof of France and other nations like Norway and Sweeden. Italy can afford to have all its stars in Seria A because it is argubly the best league in the world. The Premiership is somewhere in the middle between France and Italy. We can benifit from our best players playing in Italy or Spain, but still the Premiership can sustain reasonable quality.
France are the best team in the world at the moment without a doubt. Thye showed their quality in the last world cup where they totally dominated the final and Brazil did not stand a chance. They have so much quality all through their team that it is scarey really! In goals they have Bartez who has recently moved onto Manchester United. He is a small goalkeeper but he commands his area very well. In midfield they have Viera, Petit and Deschamp amoung others. Up front they have probably the quickest attackers in Henry and Anelka. France are the most dangerous and quickest team around at the moment. They pass the ball so well at great speed which seems to be their main strength. Their team is also relatively young so I think they will be around for a while to come. The main question is will anyone be able to stop them?
The French international team is currently the best in the world without a doubt. They surprised everyone in the last world cup and lately they have shown that it was no fluke. They showed in the European Championship that they are not a one tournament team. The French team has strength in depth. They have an excellent goalkeeper in Bartez. Their defence is familar to English fans with most of them playing in the top English teams. In midfield they have Zindane who is probably the best player in the world at the moment. Their attack is pretty special as well with Anelka and Hanry. You couldn't better that if you tried! The reason that the team is so good is that they are so skillful and quick. The French team are also young so I can only see them getting better which is quite a frightening thought for the rest of the world! Can anyone stop them?
It seems as though the French team of today are unstopable, unbeatable, and almost certainly the best internaional side in the world, I don't care what he FIFA ranknings say, Brazil are not as good! France have had superb success recently in winning the World cup at their own home, and then going on to win Euro 2000, that is a magnificent achievement in my view. The fact is that there is not a team so organised and tactically minded as the French. They play with great flair, and are always great to watch, but they use basic football as well as skill in order to win matches convinvingly. I'm sure you remember the Euro 2000 final, when Italy were all set to claim unexpected victory, they were leading for the majority of the match, but due to France's fantastic determination and pure grit and effort they managed to win! Some superb play by Pirez and Tugay led to a blisteringly quick move and finish - fantastic! France has some of the best players in the world, as well as having THE best side. Many of the Fench internationals play in England at Chelsea and Arsenal, but the most influential player, the greatest French star ever Zinedine Zidane plays at Juve still in serie A. Thierry Henry, Silvain Wiltord, Fabien Barthez, Desailly, Pirez, Lebeouf are all jsut a few of the great players of France. I think that they'll do it again in 2002 and they'll be a major footballing force for a very long time to come. Great!
Why do lots of people hate Nicholas Anelka? In my opinion he is a quality world class player. Sure, he did not have the best Euro 2000 Championships, but he has the potential to become one of the world's deadliest strikers and is playing very well for his new club Paris St Gemain. He has already accomplished so much in such little tinme. He scored some very vital goals for Real Madrid in the Champions League, which Real won by defeating Valencia in the final. He also, as mentioned earlier, won the European Championships with France. He even did the double with Arsenal in 1998. I think he is only 20 years of age and is playing very well at present. If he can reproduce the form that he played at Arsenal he will become an excellent striker, as long as he doesn't get into one of his moods.
You can say what you want about France, arrogrance e.t.c but they are the best side in the world, many people say no Brazil are the best but how can they be when France beat them 3-0?, but Brazil didn't have Ronaldo.It doesn't matter, would he have scored 4 goals? no i didn't think so.You can't rely on one player and France showed this when they beat the Saudis and Paraguay in the 1998 world cup without the skills of Zidane and again in the final when they were without the legendary Laurent Blanc.Yes France were lucky in the world cup but every team that wins has some luck, Brazil '94 won on penalties, Germany '90 won their semi-final on penalties. So,if people had their doubts about France in 98 then their doubts were put to rest in Euro2000.With one of the best defenders in the world Laurent Blanc,the best attacking midfielder and argurably the best player in the world Zinidine Zidane in midfield and the lethal Thierry Henry up front France looked certain champions. But it was almost not to be as Italy almost beat the French but Wiltord's injury time equaliser(which had some luck about it) took the game to extra-time and that's where David Trezugeut struck to win the cup for France. Of course, France are beatable and I can see one of about six countries winning the World Cup in 2002 but at the moment France are the best team in the world
A lot of people have recently been very quick to say that the current French team are the best team ever. Granted they are currently both the World and European champions, but consider what the went through to get there. In the World Cup they needed a golden goal to beat Paraguay, penalties to beat Italy, a spirited fightback to beat Croatia and then beat the off-form Brazilians in the final. In the Euro 2000 they needed a contentious penalty to beat Portugal and a last-gasp equaliser to help them get the winning golden goal against Italy in the final. So are they really better than the 1970 Brazlians? The team which boasted Pele, Jairzinho, Rivellino and Carlos Alberto? The team which (to use a Ron Atkinson term) scored goals for fun? There really isn't any comparison between the two. The French are an excellent team, but they've had a decent share of luck along the way. Just think, had luck been on their side we could be speaking about the Dutch in the same vein today.
Against England, France played some excellent stuff. They have quality in depth, from Barthez in goal, to Desailly in defense, to the master in midfeild Zidane and to the prolific Henry up front. The spine of their team is brilliant. And that is not even mentioning the likes of Lizaruzu, Wiltord, Pires etc. So, you can see what a good side they have. With Blanc and deschamp retiring from the international scene, they do not have two bad replacements, in Lebeouf and the excellent Vieria.
The French national football team represents the nation of France in international football competitions. The France football team has achieved recent success, having won the 1998 World Cup and coming second in the 2006 World Cup. They also won Euro 1984 and Euro 2000. It is fielded by the French Football Federation and competes as a member of UEFA.