Euro 2012 Preview: 8 Things to Know About France
Euro 2012 will kick off this summer and we''ll take this time to take a look at the French team.
The French were at the pinnacle of the game at the turn of the century, having won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
Since then, things haven't been too great for France in the football world. Euro 2012 could or could not see that change.
Read on to for a couple pieces of info about the French National Team.
Team Unity Is Better Since 2010
It's obvious the team has seen a change in fortunes since the 2010 World Cup. While Raymond Domenech certainly wasn't the best leader, the players' reactions and actions were unnecessary.
The French Football Federation dealt with the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Patrice Evra, and new coach Laurent Blanc has made sure that no such problems have come about with this crop of players.
Current Crop of Players Has a Lot to Prove
Players like Laurent Koscielny, Kevin Gameiro and Marvin Martin have seen time with the squad in recent games.
If these players—and others—are eventually selected, France will have a team with some inexperience on the international level.
Inexperience may not be such a bad thing where these players are concerned. With all the hype players like Martin and Gameiro have received, and the solid performances from Koscielny, they could probably all be counted on to put their best foot forward and prove themselves on this big stage.
It's not just the recent additions who will have a lot to prove, though. Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery especially stand out as players who need to lead the team forward.
Patrice Evra will have to atone for his actions in the 2010 World Cup and some solid performances will go a long way towards doing that.
The team as a whole will have a lot to prove and with the talent at their disposal, they may end up having a successful time in the tournament.
They Will Be Darkhorses
The players will have to prove themselves and the management of Laurent Blanc may work in their favour. France hasn't been a favourite for any major tournament in recent years and that won't change with this tournament.
This France team has tons of talent and though their group is tough, they should have a good chance of making it far if they play well.
Best Team in Their Group on Paper
Ukraine, Sweden and England are the other teams in France's group. These opponents will not be easy by any means but, on paper, France should be able to beat them all.
They have experience and talent from defense through to attack. France will have the likes of Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema to call on.
Their results during the qualifying period also showed how much the team has improved. The French team came up with 12 wins, six draws and two losses during that time.
They Are Ranked 11th in Europe Right Now
France is currently ranked as the 11th-best team in Europe. While that may not mean a lot to some, it could have an effect on the teams mentality considering their are only 16 teams in the competition.
It definitely puts them in the dark horse category, though. Their will be another ranking or two before the competition begins, so France does have time to change its status as it were.
Loic Remy Will Be Key
Loic Remy has had a decent season for Marseille so far, and has attracted attention from the likes of Tottenham.
Remy has all the attributes to be a key player for Les Bleus in this tournament—and the future—and he could be the man to lead the line in the tournament.
Three More Friendlies
The France team has three more friendlies before the competition begins. Iceland, Serbia and Estonia will provide those preparation games.
While the friendlies won't necessarily be all about the result but rather the performance, France should come out on top in all of those ties.
Coach Doesn't Have Confidence in His Squad
While you probably wouldn't expect Laurent Blanc to come out and say he expects his team to win the competition, you wouldn't expect him to say they won't either.
That's a great vote of confidence right there, coach. France will certainly be dark horses but they don't need their coach saying they have no chance of winning. Even though this was back in November, Blanc didn't really change his tune in a recent interview.