The Samba Groove: Spotlight On FRANCE


“World Cup Winners”

Nickname – Les Bleus | World Cup Winners – 1x (1998) | Slogan to Brazil – Impossible Is Not A French Word

France has failed to flatter since they won the World Cup and European Cup in 1998 and 2000 respectively and they are no longer regarded as a football powerhouse even though they reached the World Cup final in 2006. As a matter of fact instead of being considered as favourites, France is considered as an underdog with an outside chance of winning the cup. When they had won the World Cup in 1998 with talents such as Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps on parade they became only the sixth team in World Cup history to host and win.

World Cup - France

France qualified for this year’s tournament by the whiskers after winning 3-0 which was just enough to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit against Ukraine. They would need such luck on their side as they look to navigate their way to the final in Rio. At least they have a relatively easy group to come out from (Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland) as the aforementioned teams do not possess enough armouries to deal with the trickery of Frank Ribery, Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud.


France’s World Cup Team List

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clément 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), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)

World Cup - France Fans

The French have always been quick to label every new French midfielder who bursts into the scene the new Zinedine Zidane but the truth is those are really big shoes to fill and they have no real talisman who can assume that role. The French team nonetheless is littered with professionals who played keys roles to winning major trophies for their club sides this season and they certainly would be looking to carry on that form to the finals.

This article was written by Yemi Kuti