Is France set to do what so far only Italy and Brazil have done at the FIFA World Cup? | Football news

It’s a pretty incredible statistic when you think about it: in 21 editions completed only two teams have managed to successfully defend their FIFA World Cup title. The Italians did so in 1938, defending the trophy, which they won in 1934.
And then the men in the canary yellow jerseys won their first title in 1958 and then defended the trophy – which in 1946 had been renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy – in its next edition in 1962.
when Olivier Giroud scored the second goal for France against England in their quarter-final clash this time in Qatar in the 78th minute, it essentially meant the French became the first defending champions to progress to the World Cup semi-finals since Brazil in 1998. And they did without the service of players like Karim Benzema, Paul PogbaAnthony Martial, Presnel Kimpembe and N’Golo Kante, among others.

But the way the French have made sure to keep their grip on the trophy intact has obviously turned them into perhaps the biggest favorites for the title right now. Argentina are of course still there, as are dark horses Croatia and surprise package Morocco, but it is the French who most believe are destined to win the title in Qatar.
Destiny always plays a special role, doesn’t it? Many would say Roberto Baggio was destined to miss that penalty in the 1994 final against Brazil. After all, he was labeled the “savior of Italy” during the 1994 edition, right up to the summit clash.
If you’re not a big believer in fate, consider this: Olivier Giroud in all likelihood he would not have found a place in the French starting XI had Benzema been there. The French front line would have been Benzema, Dembele, Mbappรฉ. But then a last-minute injury saw the latest Ballon d’Or winner miss the World Cup cut. Giroud is on the march, in good scoring form for Milan, and is currently the second top scorer of the tournament with 4 goals. In the 2018 edition, won by France, Giroud did not score a single goal. Destiny?


In the last three editions of the World Cup, the reigning champions have been eliminated in the first round: Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018. France have managed to reverse this trend and are now two wins away from what it will be their third world title. Destiny?
But of course one cannot base predictions of the results of World Cup matches on fate.
So let’s talk about what’s going well for the French on the pitch right now.
The number one thing that works in their favor is their offensive mindset. The top scorer of the tournament is currently the Frenchman (Kylian Mbappe) and one of the two players tied for second place is also part of the Les Bleus group (Olivier Giroud).

In the quarter-finals, they managed to eliminate a team labeled the best England team in a long time. England held the upper hand for long periods of play, but the French got the last laugh. Giroud gave Didier Deschamps everything he wanted when he was forced to look beyond Benzema.
Antoine Griezmann, who has become a household name, playing as a centre-forward for France and Atletico Madrid, has taken on the role of attacking midfielder, in Pogba’s absence, like fish in water.
In Mbappe France has perhaps the only player on the planet who always seems capable of scoring. Of course he was brilliantly marked by Kyle Walker and others in the quarter-final against England and didn’t go on the scoresheet, but the Moroccans may find it much more difficult to stop Mbappรฉ than the English.

Overall in Morocco France certainly obtained, at least on paper, the easier of the two semifinal matches.
And then of course there’s Didier Descahmps, the manager, who is one of only three people to have won the World Cup as both player and manager (the other two being Mario Zagallo with Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany) . The mood in the French camp according to most of the news coming from Qatar is ‘serene’, thanks to the calm that Deschamps exudes.
Now, hypothetically, let’s say France beat Morocco which is, let’s face it, the most likely outcome. They will then face Croatia or Argentina in the final, with the latter option obviously being the preferred option for the fans.
Argentina have history on their side in the semi-final against Croatia. They have never lost a World Cup semi-final in 5 previous appearances in their last four.

fifa semifinal training

But if there is an ‘upset’, the French, most would say, have the attacking skill and speed to break through the Croatian defence.
Argentina meanwhile have scored an impressive 6 goals against France in their last three meetings, although France have won two of those games. This statistic, however, dates back to 2007. Albiceleste are already “feeling” it and a win against Croatia will be yet another big blow to their arm. If they can get to the summit confrontation, France still has one huge last hurdle to overcome.

If a final between France and Argentina were to actually happen, just imagine the list of possibilities we will have: the chance for a team to successfully defend their title for only the third time in World Cup history, the chance for Didier Descahmps to become only the second manager from Italy Victor Wells in 1938 to win the World Cup twice, Lionel Messi’s chance to win his first World Cup and the biggest international title of his decorated career in what is in all likelihood his last World Cup appearance.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels the stars are aligning for Lionel Messi and Argentina to win the title this time around. The French will obviously have a thing or two to say about that.


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