France - a guide to the World Cup hopefuls
Winners in 1998, France had a disastrous 2010 campaign and will be looking for more success in Brazil...
Last Updated: 09/06/14 10:56am
France failed to perform in South Africa, and they will be looking to restore their standing on the world stage at this year's finals.
The one-time winners have never really performed too well away from Europe, but they did manage third place in 1986 in Mexico and will be looking to make their mark in Brazil.
Didier Deschamps took charge after Euro 2012, and his first qualifying campaign was far from comfortable as Spain proved too good and claimed top spot in their group, as they inflicted France's only defeat. That meant France had to go through the play-offs as they faced Ukraine and Deschamps' side were facing elimination after a 2-0 loss in the first leg, but a 3-0 win in Paris - courtesy of two goals from Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho - saw them home.
France's Group E fixtures
1. Sunday June 15: France v Honduras – Porto Alegre
2. Friday June 20: France v Switzerland – Salvador
3. Wednesday June 25: France v Ecuador – Rio de Janeiro
Coach: Didier Deschamps
One of the most decorated players in French football history, captaining France to both their World Cup win in 1998 and European Championship success in 2000. Deschamps coached Monaco, Juventus and Marseille before taking charge of France in 2012. He has already agreed a new deal to take them through to Euro 2016 after succesfully qualifying for Brazil.
Star man: Franck Ribery
On his day is one of the greatest players on the planet and, had it not been for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, would surely have been recognised as such. Placed third in the 2013 Ballon d'Or, many people regard Ribery as the third best player in the world but, like with Ronaldo and Messi, he is yet to star at a World Cup finals. Ribery has achieved everything at club level with Bayern Munich, but he will be looking for a big campaign in Brazil and, if he is on his game, France could be possible winnners.
Tournament best: Winners 1998
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Lucas Digne (PSG)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Loic Remy (QPR)
British based players: Loic Remy (QPR), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Sky Bet odds: 25/1
The 1998 winners were cut from 28/1 to 25/1 after being handed what is seen as a favourable draw, with their odds on winning Group E 4/5. Karim Benzema’s goals are expected to be key, with the Real Madrid striker 28/1 to be the tournament’s top scorer, while Olivier Giroud and Franck Ribery are both given outside chances at 40/1 and 50/1 respectively.