France Followers Video Ranking: four / 5
France Enthusiasts Online video Rating: four / five
France recently managed an excellent 2-0 win over World Cup favourites Netherlands in the friendly match. This was one of the final friendly matches for the national teams before they prepare to take part in the World Cup 2014. After having not done well in recent major tournaments, France will go into this tournament not even as one of the dark horses. However, expectations have increased significantly after the team managed a win over one of the World Cup hopefuls. France have now been defeated only once in the last five matches.
Karim Benzema, who has been in fine form for Real Madrid, continued his scoring streak with the opening goal. PSG midfielder Matuidi doubled the advantage for France with a goal nine minutes later. Didier Deschamps said after the match that he did not want expectations to rise as a result of this win. He has recalled that the Dutch national team were without a number of influential players like Arjen Robben because manager Louis van Gaal was looking to test out a few players before the World Cup. Both France and Netherlands have tough groups respectively and they need to negotiate with them carefully in order to overcome the ghosts of the recent World Cup.
“You can get carried away, but not too much. We played a good Dutch team but they were without several important players, including (Arjen) Robben. The players have triggered great expectations. It was something important. It will not make us World Cup favourites but it was important to keep the dynamic (after the Ukraine game). People are loving it. The players have a duty. That (France) jersey must be above everything,” said Deschamps.
France have three more friendlies before the start of the World Cup, but they will be against lesser opposition like Jamaica and Norway.
France Supporters Movie Rating: / 5
French legend Zinedine Zidane recently revealed his ambition to become a manager. The former French international has been appointed as the assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, but he says that the prospect of managing a team has been growing within him over the last few years. Zidane was initially expected to become a director of football at a major club, but he reveals that management is what he’s after right now. This has increased to the respect of the former Real Madrid man to take over the French national team.
Zidane’s last involvement with the national team was in the 2006 World Cup final when he managed to get himself sent off after head-butt on Inter Milan defender Materazzi. The French national team has been going through a transitional phase since then. They have been unable to hit the heights of recent years, which has led to the appointment of Didier Deschamps. He has managed to steady the ship and they are expected to do well at the 2014 World Cup. However, Deschamps has a contract with the national team only till 2016.
He is unlikely to renew it, as he may look to returning to club football. Deschamps says that Zidane could potentially be a future manager for the French national team.
“It’s possible. Why not? He has graduated, he wants to be in this place, so why not. After 2016, I don’t know what I’ll do,” said Deschamps.
France will be taking on Switzerland, Honduras, and Ecuador in the group E of the World Cup. Hence, they are rated as the favourites to get into the knockout stages, which they failed to do in the last World Cup. It was a forgetful affair for the national team, as it was marred by a lot of infighting within the team.
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