France’s World Cup campaign ended in heartbreak as they lost to Germany 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Mats Hummels.
France rarely gave the Germans a chance to attack, while attacking ruthlessly toward the German defense. But, the Germans capitalized on the early mistake that France made and never looked back.
A silly challenge from Paul Pogba gave away a free kick for the Germans and they capitalized on the set-piece. And a defensive mistake by Raphael Varane allowed Hummels to create space for himself and head the ball past a diving Hugo Lloris in the 12th minute.
The French had more shots and tested the German keeper, Manuel Neuer a number of times but just couldn’t get the ball past the German shot stopper. Neuer proved to be too much for the French as they were ousted in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
It was also French manager Didier Deschamps’ first loss in the World Cup as a player or a manager according to ESPN.com.
It hurts to lose, but the French shouldn’t feel deterred by the outcome of their World Cup campaign.
Rather, they should feel as though it was a successful World Cup campaign and build on that success toward the next one. There were plenty of positives than negatives to take away from this World Cup campaign and it should build confidence for the team as a whole for the next one.
After a disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign, the French had to reshape their line-up to be competitive but also transition into a younger team.
With the additions of Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, and Antoine Griezmann, all of whom got a significant amount of experience during this World Cup campaign, France should feel optimistic for their next World Cup. These youngsters are the future of French soccer and after their great performances in the World Cup they are destined to be better in the near future.
With a mix of veterans and youth in this World Cup team and the fact that they were virtually missing their top two players for the team in Samir Nasri and Frank Ribery, they over achieved than under.
Nasri was overlooked in the team selection for Morgan Schneiderlin and Ribery had back problems that was lingering after his domestic campaign for Bayern Munich.
While the addition of one or the other or even both could have propelled France to even higher heights, France did well enough and was unfortunate to go down against an average showing German team.
In fact without the additions of these two players, they probably done themselves a favor and allowed the team to be more cohesive more than ever.
The amount of ego’s that the two star player brings might have broken the team unison within the team and allowed the team to play with more flow than relying on one player to do everything. The team was very unselfish and allowed other teammates to get involved in the play.
Regardless, this team did what it was supposed to do and that was to finish first in the group and make it past the round of 16. And it also helped that the group wasn’t as strong as the other groups and the fact that they didn’t have the pressure of winning after their previous World Cup campaign.
People didn’t give France the much needed respect they deserved and possibly because of their average performances during the World Cup qualifiers. They barely made the World Cup spot after defeating Ukraine in a playoff match, but France had all the talent in the world to get far in the World Cup, just like Belgium.
People viewed Belgium as the dark horses for this year’s 2014 World Cup, but they should’ve also included France in that mix. They didn’t have the pressure or expectations of winning it all because first they didn’t have two of their top players and two, because of the disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign. A team that wasn’t given any of the spot lights but performed admirably should be something to be proud of. France wasn’t given enough respect and that allowed them to perform well under the radar.
France’s harmony within the team allowed them to succeed when it mattered most. They didn’t have the luck needed against the Germans, but they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.