Usually the centre of massive controversy at major international tournaments, France will be aiming to get through this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil without incident.
Hugely talented—but often flawed by infighting and ill discipline—they travel to South America without Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, the divisive Samir Nasri of Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais' Clement Grenier but still with plenty of quality and strength in depth.
The 3-2 aggregate victory over Ukraine in the play-offs has boosted optimism surrounding Les Bleus, but expectations are still relatively low, with this summer’s tournament expected to be used to prepare for the 2016 UEFA European Championship on home soil. France are expected to emerge from what is a favourable Group E, but coach Didier Deschamps has picked his squad with one eye fixed firmly on the future.
Winners in 1998 and beaten finalists in 2006, but knocked out in the group stages in both 2002 and 2010, Les Tricolores have lurched from success to failure and back again in recent World Cup campaigns. They are due another success in Brazil this summer.