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France Euro 2012 profile: Review of the French National Team.

May 27, 2012 By Angela Asante
There is a fresh breeze blowing in the midst of France’s national team with Euro 2012 around the corner. For the first time in many years, die-hard fans remain positive ahead of a major tournament.

France successfully reached Poland-Ukraine as group winners in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers.How France qualified for Euro 2012

France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg; that was the final line up from top to bottom in Group D. The battle for the first spot went right down to the final moments of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign.

Between France and Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was little to differentiate. The latter finished with a 6-2-2 record while Les Bleus clinched 6 wins, 3 draws and only 1 defeat.

 

That loss occurred on the very first day of the qualifiers as Belarus stunned the French in Saint-Denis. It put coach Laurent Blanc and his players in a very uncomfortable situation. However, they extracted positivity from the Belarus defeat; it apparently motivated them to go through the rest of their UEFA Euro 2012 qualification games unbeaten.

In their final qualifier, France needed just a point to reach Poland and Ukraine. Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko almost spoiled the party for the hosts with a 40th minute goal but Samir Nasri’s 78th minute equalizer from the penalty spot saw the French finish 1 point above runners-up Bosnia in Group D.

Who is France’s coach?

It is not easy to bounce back from a crisis but this is something France managed to do quite well in the aftermath of the Raymond Domenech era. Under Domenech, the French suffered total humiliation with group stage exits at both the Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Laurent Blanc’s task was to guide France through a period of transition. Qualifying for Euro 2012 was a must. Without retired veterans like Thierry Henry, Blanc revived the colours of France’s tri-colour flag. The former Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Inter and Manchester United midfielder provided an automatic UEFA Euro 2012 ticket for Les Bleus.

At 46, Laurent Blanc has more years to hit new heights in football. Already, the 2009 French Ligue 1 and 2009 Coupe de la Ligue medals with Bordeaux as a coach are two of many honours that rest in his cabinet of awards.Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema are some of France's top players to watch out for during Euro 2012.

Who are France’s key players?

Samir Nasri

The 2011/12 English Premier League winner is the type of midfielder who can stretch defenders on the wings. Nasri will be out to prove again that his move from Arsenal to Manchester City has made him a better player. Do not be surprised if Samir Nasri steals the spotlight away from Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery. 

Karim Benzema

In Karim Benzema, French fans possess a striker who can not only score but also create goals. The Real Madrid number 9 has considerably improved under Mourinho's guidance in the past couple of years and statistics speak for themselves. Benzema finished the 2011/12 club football season with 32 goals and 15 assists in 52 appearances. The striker enters the Euro 2012 brimming with self confidence. If he keeps doing what he does, defenders will have a reason to worry about his presence on the field.

France’s Euro 2012 squad

Goalkeepers: Cédric Carrasso, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda

Defenders: Gaël Clichy, Mathieu Debuchy, Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny, Philippe Mexes, Adil Rami, Anthony Réveillère

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Alou Diarra, Florent Malouda, Marvin Martin, Blaise Matuidi, Yann M'vila, Samir Nasri

Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Jérémy Ménez, Franck Ribéry, Mathieu Valbuena

Who are France’s Euro 2012 group opponents?

France drew Sweden, co-hosts Ukraine and big stage flops England.

France’s group matches schedule

June 11, 2012: France vs England – Donbass Arena, Donetsk
June 15, 2012: Ukraine vs France – Donbass Arena, Donetsk
June 19, 2012: Sweden vs France – Olympic Stadium, Kiev

More on France’s live streaming and TV schedule info page.

FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking

In-form France go into UEFA Euro 2012 as the 10th best nation in Europe behind Russia and above Greece. But in the world, they are only 14th.The UEFA Euro 2012 tournament will provide a good platform for the 1998 FIFA World Cup champions to reclaim a top 10 rank.

France's Odds to win Euro 2012

France are ranked in 4th place to win it with 1 in 12 odds to be European Champions.

If you would like to contribute as a volunteer to LiveSoccerTV's French coverage of the Euro 2012 feel free to send us a quick message.


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