Could France Take The World Cup Trophy?
It has been a thrilling edition of the World Cup in Qatar this year, and many heavyweight nations remain in contention to win the top prize after the round of 16 stage. Based on the odds by the French bookmakers, France will be among the leading contenders and successfully defend the title they won four years ago, and have been the long-time favorites with sites.
However, defending the World Cup is no easy feat, with the last nation to achieve that feat being Brazil in 1962. But, could Didier Deschamps and his side go all the way and achieve footballing immortality in Qatar this year?
France’s Esteemed World Cup History
There are few nations that can match the success that France has achieved at the World Cup throughout their history, as they have won the big prize on two previous occasions. Their success in Russia four years ago was the first time that they had won it since 1998, and it was the second straight edition of the competition that they had gone unbeaten throughout.
However, when qualifying for the World Cup, France has reached at least the semi-final stage on five of their previous eight showings at the competition. That includes finishing as the runners-up in 2006, and third in 1986. However, they have never reached consecutive finals throughout their history at the World Cup. Their most embarrassing moment at the World Cup came when defending the honor in 2002, as they crashed out without a win at the group stage.
Performances In Qatar
Many were skeptical about France’s chances of winning the World Cup before a ball was kicked in Qatar, as defending champions have often flattered to deceive. However, the French ensured that narrative was never going to stick, as they got off to a fast start against Australia in Group D, winning 4-1. Their qualification to the round of 16 was ensured after a 2-1 win against Denmark on matchday two. Kylian Mbappe has been one of the standout players for the French throughout the tournament, and his five goals ensure that he leads the way for the Golden Boot.
However, France’s campaign hasn’t been without its setbacks, as they were handed a first World Cup defeat since 2014 in their final group stage match, as they were beaten 1-0 by Tunisia. But, they were quick to get back to winning ways when the pressure was really on in the round of 16, as they eased to a 3-1 win against Poland. Mbappe was once again the star of the show, as he scored two brilliant goals in the final 15 minutes. Oliver Giroud had earlier gave France the lead, as he broke the all-time scoring record for his nation.
What’s Next For France?
Things will be stepped up a gear when the quarterfinals get underway in Qatar, and France will face one of the biggest tests, as they come up against a free-scoring England. The Three Lions are the top scorers at the World Cup this year, and they have one of the best defensive records, having allowed just two goals. Many already see this quarterfinal as a potentially crucial game in the tournament, as the nation that claims victory will be favored to reach at least the final.
It will be the first time that the nations have met in a knockout fixture at a major international tournament. However, France did claim victory in the previous meeting between the two at a major tournament, beating England 2-1 in the group stages at EURO 2004. But, England has beaten France in the previous two World Cup meetings between the nations, with those wins coming in the group stages at the 1966 and 1982 World Cups.
This quarter final clash looks to be pivotal, as a showdown with either Portugal or Morocco will be the reward. If France progresses, they will be heavily favored to reach the final regardless of the opponent that they come up against in the semi-finals.
Conclusion- Can France Win The World Cup?
France has been long-time front-runners to win the World Cup, and very little has changed since the betting markets opened. They have looked incredibly strong throughout the competition, and victory over England could set up a potential final with either Brazil or Argentina.
It promises to be a thrilling end to the World Cup in Qatar, and France will be hoping that their defense of the trophy doesn’t come to a halting end against the Three Lions in their upcoming quarter final showdown.