Les Bleus, a national team that's currently missing the likes of Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri. Nevertheless, they are one point away from progressing to the next round of the World Cup.
To be fair their group could have been much more difficult, but still, give credit where it's due and that's exactly what the French deserve because they have still been brilliant .
Of course there is a long way to go, we need to see how this France side copes against stronger opposition (no disrespect to the other teams in Group E). But they do look really strong. Not France 1998 strong, but definitely strong. That poses the question. Are France genuine contenders for the World Cup?
Well yeah, why not? They have a blend of youth, experience and power. Not to mention they are under the guidance and tutelage of a real leader in Didier Deschamps. If an Argentina side that struggled to get past Iran is tipped to go all the way then surely Les Bleus has to be included with them, your Brazil's, Germany's etc. as tournament favorites.
Karim Benzema, a Galactico, spearheading the attack. He already has three goals to his name so far and wherever France finish it's likely the Real Madrid man will get a lot of credit especially considering the previous goal droughts he's been on in the past for his country. Mathieu Valbeuna, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud have also been impressive in attack but the plaudits have to go to France's midfield three.
Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye and when he's played Moussa Sissoko have all been excellent.They have showed energy, desire, technicality and most importantly it's looks like they are enjoying their football. They are playing not just for each other but also for the shirt and the pride of their country.
How Deschamps men are playing now is the polar opposite to how Raymond Domenech's France team played four years ago in South Africa. It's been a joy to watch this France side play the beautiful game with only awe and amazement coming to mind.
France have a variety of options in midfield, a strong attack force, but also a bucket full of defenders to choose from. In the two games Les Bleus have played, Mathieu Debuchy, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho and Patrice Evra have all started. The likes of Arsenal pair Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna are yet to start a game whilst Sagna hasn't featured at all. The wanted Eliaquim Mangala of Porto and young full-back Lucas Digne of Paris Saint-Germain have also yet to feature in this tournament so far.
Sagna and Koscielny, two defenders with a vast amount of Premier League experience on the bench. Yet France still have a sturdy defence amongst their starting eleven regardless. That is what you call squad depth. And let's not forget Manchester City's Gael Clichy was also omitted from the squad with a host of other highly rated defenders.
The dark horses of the tournament? I think not. Rather they are genuine contenders for the biggest prize in world football.
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