WC: France Condemned Harshly

First of the contenders to play in South Africa, France have had few positive reviews after their goal-less draw with Uraguay, not least from the British press who always delight in our near neighbour's discomfort.

Shows how much the hacks know, doesn't it?

The World Cup isn't won in the first round and the only goal should be passage, especially in a tournament likely to be dominated by heat and altitude concerns.

In this philosophy the French have become more like the Italians, a good model to copy: in the last ten World Cups Italy have made the final four times and the semis twice more.

Domenech will be looking to match the steady start that saw them through the first round in Germany four years ago before unleashing his team for a charge to the final.

Its worth remembering, though, that no European team has won the World Cup outside of Europe, so slow start or not the French, Italians, English, et al have a weight of history to overcome as well as their opposition...

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