Monday, 11 July 2016

They Finished 2nd: FRANCE

Hosting it used to be the best way of winning it for France. Not so now.

Despite having the Golden Boot winner in their ranks and possibly the best array of player-for-player talent to pick from (the Germans possibly better) on Sunday we witnessed the players pick up their silver medals and immediately rip them from around their necks.

Their Group was easy and they sailed through it. Ireland and Iceland in the first stages of the knock-outs was friendly too. Germany in the semis was their biggest challenge and they sailed through.

But Payet started the tournament well but faded. Pogba flattered to deceive. He will become a great but he is not there yet. Up front Gignac and Giroud are far from a world-class duo, but add Griezmann and the Triple G looks stronger.

So the hosts continue to go through a drought. Indeed, France in the World Cup of 1998 remain the last host nation to win a major football tournament involving European teams. Here’s the list of failures: 2014 Brazil, 2012 Poland/Ukraine, 2010 South Africa, 2008 Austria/Switzerland, 2006 Germany, 2004 Portugal, 2002 Japan/South Korea, 2000 Belgium/Netherlands.

Don’t bet too much on Russia winning the World Cup in 2018 then.

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