Countdown to Brazil: France's dysfunction starting early this year
More drama in France, and Brazil the pick to win.
As defending runners-up entering the 2010 World Cup, high expectations were placed on the French side. They were expected to again compete for the title, or at least make it through the group stage.
They did neither. In fact, France didn't win a match. One player was kicked off the team during the boycott which led to a player mutiny. It was a mess.
Now, under new manager Didier Deschamps, France hopes to return to its past soccer glory. But when Deschamps named his roster without Samir Nasri, the ghosts of 2010 were resurrected -- at least in the form of Nasri's girlfriend, who laid into Deschamps in an expletive-laden tirade on Twitter.
Ribery joins the fray: Midfielder Franck Ribery has joined the chorus of those speaking out about Deschamps roster choices, though his thoughts were decidedly more less abrasive. Ribery admitted he was upset Nasri and Eric Abidal were left off the squad.
But in the end, he believes France boasts a cohesive unit.
"I think the group, since a certain moment, have been going very well," Ribery said, according to the Daily Mail. "It is a real group, solid and welded together. We must keep this force and go to Brazil with lots of ambition."
Brazil overwhelming favorite: The financial experts have spoken, and they have chosen host nation Brazil as your 2014 World Cup champions. The group of 120 market analysts have had mixed results in predicting in the past, though they did choose Spain correctly in 2010.
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