France’s players suffered an early exit in the tournament on the afternoon of June 22 when they lost 2-1 to the hosts; but along with the sorrow and the bitterness which they carry in their hearts following their disqualification from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, huge regrets also follow them. The French footballers were said to have accused their coach Raymond Domenech for his inability to take control of the entire squad; but subsequently, disrespect from Les Bleus led to their own destruction.
France first entered the competition with a confident mentality, as they were anticipating a great campaign in the tournament. But this was not the case, and at their surprise, they had no win in the World Cup; and even scoring a few goals was a challenge.
Group A - Uruguay 0-0 France, June 11
This result hit France on Day 1 against South American rivals Uruguay. France played an unprofessional game in which they were stopped from increasing their strength of mind. Barcelona forward Thierry Henry even got into the match as time passed on the clock, but not even his introduction was enough for France to dive the game in their favor. Luckily, Diego Forlan was in bad form; yet consequently, a red card for the Uruguayans made French supporters believe that they were going to steal 3 points. This did not happen, and after the referee’s final whistle, France could only share a single “unworthy” point with Uruguay.
Group A - France 0-2 Mexico, June 17
France had no option but to land back into the tournament with a win over Mexico on June 17; however, after another moment of misery and sadness, it was Mexico who ran away with the reward. 2-0 the match finished, and France did not even get positives out of their battle. The whole of the game, the CONCACAF members always looked like favorites to rule over their contenders, and Coach Raymond Domenech could only watch – from a distance – his players discounting his tactical plans.
Group A - France 1-2 South Africa, June 22
Finally, it was unquestionable that it had gone from bad to worse for the French. On match-day 3 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, France lost by 2 goals to 1 against World Cup hosts South Africa in a game where Gourcuff was sent off for a dreadful challenge. But at least, their defeat was enough to drag the Bafana Bafana with them out of the competition. In any case, the upset fell as heavily on Coach Alberto Parreira’s squad (who became the first hosts to be disqualified from a World Cup in round 1), as on Les Bleus who saw their great stars (including Patrice Evra, Thierry Henry and Frank Ribery), returning home with no reward.
In the end, it is easy to think that France’s misery came out of the death of their team spirit early in the tournament when Evra and Anelka especially rebelled against French Manager Raymond Domenech; but the question is: why did they let separation tarnish their 2010 World Cup run? Whatever the answer may be, destiny has gone against the 1998 champions, and each and every one in the squad can now focus on changing his personality for the next occasions. In the meantime, the miserable country’s FA is surely getting ready to give away its judgments against its French representatives in South Africa, since Les Bleus were incapable of defending France’s colors in the 2010 World Cup.
Uruguay - 7 points
Mexico - 4 points
South Africa - 4 points
France - 1 point