French national team manager Didier Deschamps has attempted to do downplay their hopes of winning the World Cup 2014 by openly admitting that France will not be favourites this time around. The 2006 World Cup finalists have not done well in recent major tournaments, but the arrival of Deschamps has improved the fortunes of the team lately. He has surprised everyone by naming a squad that does not feature Manchester City star Samir Nasri. This is seen as an attempt by the former Chelsea man to improve the squad discipline, which reached an all-time low at the 2010 World Cup.
France have been given a group where they are expected to top quite easily. The likes of Honduras, Switzerland, and Ecuador are not seen as a much challenge for the Europeans. Despite this, Deschamps has downplayed the hopes of a World Cup title. France have not won a major title since the Euro 2000, while their previous World Cup success came in 1998. Deschamps has accepted that the recent altercations between players, managers, and the French football Federation have not been good for the image of the nation, but he says that they need to move on and find success at the World Cup.
“We need to move on now but the closure will only happen if we have a good World Cup, if we play well and we win games. The most important thing when you go to a World Cup is not to pick the best 23 players but to pick the best squad. It’s not just about talent, it’s also about attitude. They are all using social media in their spare time so they become more isolated and selfish. Nowadays you never see players playing cards. We used to sit around playing cards together all the time,” said the manager.