Preview: France outplayed
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