CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – Whether France prove the doubters wrong with a fine World Cup run or make another embarrassing exit remained anybody’s guess after their opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday.
Neither disastrous nor totally reassuring, the former world champions’ performance on the perfect pitch of the graceful Green Point stadium failed to answer the many question marks hanging over their campaign.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – France deserve to be at the World Cup and are both determined and aggressive before kicking off their campaign against Uruguay, coach Raymond Domenech said on Thursday.
The former world champions, who have done nothing to suggest they could make an impact at the finals, owe their presence in South Africa to a controversial playoff win over Ireland featuring Thierry Henry’s infamous handball.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – With heavy security everywhere, no public training sessions and a leading player refusing to talk to the press, the climate at France’s World Cup base has suddenly deteriorated.
Downpours on Wednesday, after days of gorgeous weather, provided a symbol for the brutal change of atmosphere at Knysna, Western Cape, where the former world champions are preparing for their first game, against Uruguay on Friday in Cape Town.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – The France players preparing for the World Cup have a very selective memory.
While they all seem to have forgotten about what happened just two years ago, they can remember precisely events of four years back.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France’s difficult relationship with the media returned under the spotlight on Tuesday when William Gallas said he would refuse to speak to the press during the World Cup.
Centre back Gallas was scheduled to appear before the media alongside goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at France’s base in Knysna, Western Cape, on Tuesday but only Lloris turned up.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France, proud of their reputation as the country of love, are certainly not living up to it these days when it comes to their national soccer team.
The days when the glitzy Champs Elysees avenue was swarming with people wildly celebrating France’s 1998 World Cup triumph are long gone and the side preparing for the June 11-July 11 finals in South Africa could be excused for feeling let down.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France have picked a World Cup hotel which is far too flashy and they will have to account for it if they make an early exit, the country’s sports junior minister said on Sunday.
France, whose popularity at home has reached a depressing low after a string of uninspired performances, arrived at the Pezula Resort, a luxury hotel at Knysna on the scenic Western Cape coastline on Saturday.
SAINT-PIERRE, Reunion (Reuters) – France look set to start their matches at the World Cup with no Thierry Henry up front and no guarantee that they will restore some pride after a string of uninspired performances.
France’s most prolific scorer with 51 goals from 121 caps and the team’s former captain, Henry started on the bench in all three warm-up games and is expected to do the same at the June 11-July 11 finals for the 1998 winners and 2006 finalists.
SAINT-PIERRE, Reunion (Reuters) – France coach Raymond Domenech said his team were moving in the right direction despite slumping to a surprise 1-0 defeat by China in their final World Cup warm-up on Friday.
“I think we are improving,” said Domenech who has faced heavy criticism ever since France went out in the first round of Euro 2008.
SAINT-PIERRE, Reunion (Reuters) – France must get out of the habit of conceding early goals when they get to the World Cup, midfielder Florent Malouda said on Thursday.
Les Bleus trailed early in their first two warm-up games, a 2-1 win over Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw in Tunisia.