Preview: France outplayed Brazil in the 1998 to earn their first ever victory.  This year France is entering the tournament ranked 5th, and have many questions to answer about which French team will show up in 2006.  Will it be the more like the 2002 and 2004 teams, which made early exists in international tournaments, or will the French side repeat their dominant showing of 1998 and the Euro in 2000?  Can manager Raymond Domenech control this group of veterans, or is it the players who are running the show? Maybe check the Calendriers!

Six players return from the 1998 squad: Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane, who came out of international retirement to play in his last World Cup.  Also back is midfielder Claude Makelele, and strikers Sylvain Wiltord and Djibril Cisse who underscore a very potent French attack.  "Les Bleus" should make a solid run this year, and Zidane's number 10 France jersey should be a great collectible.

Result: France sent Brazil home in the quarterfinals, and sent the fans at Champs-Élysées into a wild celebration. The team only gained form as the tournament progressed, culminating in a dramatic final match against Italy.