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Far-Fetched Friday: France Exit at Group Stage
The World Cup is right around the corner, so the hot takes must keep flowing. This time I am here to tell you that the defending world cup champions will flame out of the group stages. It won't be the first time France has disappointed in the tournament after reaching a final- they can't help themselves.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at one of the favorites at the upcoming World Cup.
In fact, historically, anytime France has reached a World Cup Final, they're guaranteed to have a historic failure at the next showing. After winning the 1998 tournament, they turned around and finished in the last place of their group with just one point and no goals scored in 2002. Then they bounced back and reached the final of the 2006 World Cup, but in the following 2010 tournament, they finished with 1 point and last place in their group once again.
Why does this happen? The French are a dramatic people. There is always some controversy around the corner threatening to derail the team's immense talents. In the last decade, we had the blackmailing sex controversy featuring Karim Benzema, disgruntled parents arguing over playing time in public as if it were an episode of American youth sports, and witchcraft allegations, among many other stories that could fill this article. But through it all, France has managed a World Cup Trophy and a Euros final. But this is different. The world-class stars that controlled the midfield, Paul Pogba, and N'Golo Kante, will not be there to dictate the tempo.
The French will be reliant on 22-year-old Aurelian Tchouameni and 20-year-old Eduardo Camavinga to step in and direct the play of a team with third-best odds to win the tournament. And while both are very talented and deserved World Cup debutants, the 18 caps they have together pales in comparison to their fellow group members in Denmark, Australia, and Tunisia. Consider that France's most capped player in their midfield will be Adrien Rabiot, with 29 games. The other five midfielders called up have 31 caps total between them.
Denmark will boast a midfield of Pierre-Emile Hojberg, Christian Eriksen, and Thomas Delaney, who individually have at least as many caps as France's midfielders combined. Australia is less experienced but still has more international experience than Australia. Then you look at Tunisia, who will come to the tournament with one of the most experienced teams.
This scenario reeks of the 2002 World Cup. A 29-year-old midfield star Robert Pires, missed the tournament through a knee injury, much like the 29-year-old Paul Pogba now. And another midfield superstar, Zidane, was forced to miss the first two games through injury and hobbled to the starting line-up of the third game heavily-bandaged and a shell of himself. This time around, midfield superstar N'golo Kante will miss the tournament altogether. And despite the talents of a young French pacey-superstar in his early 20s in Thierry Henry, France still flamed out of the 2002 World Cup with no one to feed his skillset. This time around, that young, pacey French superstar is Kylian Mbappe, and he's heavily reliant on service from the midfield.
France will have a rough start to the World Cup due to their inexperience, and the players, staff, media, and fans will turn on each other, ending the whole thing before it ever started.
I have a feeling France will not make it out of the group stages.
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