France will head into the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil with little expectations. Once a world force, they are now being seen as outsiders in the tournament.
Les Bleus could qualify for the World Cup only by the skin of their teeth. They failed to win the group and lost the first leg of their playoff 2-0 to Ukraine in Kiev. However, Didier Deschamps’ side gallantly rallied in the second leg and won it 3-0 to book their place in Brazil.
The French have been drawn in a rather easy group. The 1998 World Cup winners will face Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in Group E and they are expected to win it.
France’s preparations are going well too. Last month, the Euro 2000 winners hammered Norway 4-0, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Paraguay on June 1. However, in their final warm-up game before the World Cup, they eased past Jamaica 8-0.
True, Jamaica are hardly football’s superpowers, but the French’s performance on Sunday was still marvellous and will certainly enhance their confidence. Olivier Giroud, Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena all were superb in the victory. While the Arsenal striker scored once, the Real Madrid forward struck twice. Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann scored a brace too.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain in January, also had a good game and opened the scoring after 17 minutes. After the match, he took to social networking Twitter to revel in his team’s comprehensive victory.