Before the 2018 World Cup starts in Moscow next June 14, Brussels Express will present all EU national teams involved in the competition. Chapter VI: France.
The finalists of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup are bitter and seeking to make amends. After France lost at home vs Portugal two years ago, the national players indeed aim to show the World they are a world class team; although they are not the only ones.
France is definitely one of the favourite teams, together with Brazil, Germany or Spain, to win the world cup. Antoine Griezmann’s teammates can take advantage of a colony of strikers (Mbappé, Giroud, Dembélé, Fékir, Thauvin etc.), which makes that team one of the most offensive. But the defence is more uncertain, so it is up to Didier Deschamps to find a good balance.
The first round should be fine, as the French will play against Australia, Peru and Denmark. However, France capable of the best and the worst, and it is unlikely to repeat the disasters of 2002 and 2010 when it was not able to pass the group stages.
Key Player: Antoine Griezmann
Is it finally the Antoine Griezmann’s year? Although he was very successful over the last years, which has made him one of the most valuable strikers across the World, he has not won many major competitions – he lost the UEFA Champion’s League final in 2016, a couple of weeks before losing the UEFA Euro Cup final.
This year seems a bit better, as Atlético Madrid (where he plays) won the UEFA Europa League, his first major trophy. This should confirm his performances vs. the big teams during the World Cup.
- 16 June – France vs. Australia.
- 21 June – France vs. Peru.
- 26 June – Denmark vs. France.
Places to watch the games in Brussels:
Le Marseillais, Place du Jeu de Balle: a small bar which becomes a French meeting point during the International competitions. You can watch the games and enjoy the classic French drink, pastis.