With the tap of a player's hand in their qualifying match against Ireland, the French team advanced to the South Africa World Cup. Here's what to expect in Uruguay vs. France at 8:30 pm (2:30 pm EST).
The team edged out Ireland for a spot in at the South Africa World Cup thanks to a blatant handball penalty by France's golden boy striker. Thierry Henry tapped the ball to a teammate, who was then able to score and win France's last qualifying game in November.
Despite advancing to the World Cup in that most scandalous of ways, the 2006 runners-up and 1998 champions will again be formidable – and they are favored to beat Uruguay in their first Group A match.
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True, France failed to impress during the qualifying rounds. True, coach Raymond Domenech has largely failed thus far to inspire or unite bickering players. True, the team of veterans has lost a bit of the explosiveness it once had.
But the talent assembled on Les Bleues is enough to many any top coach salivate. France is a team so deep that one of the world’s highest-paid players, Mr. Henry, is not even in the starting lineup. One has to think that a team with such proven performers as striker Nicolas Anelka, midfielder Franck Ribery, and defender William Gallas has what it takes to defeat the scrappy Uruguay.