The French national team will begin their quest for Euro 2012 today under a new coach who hopes to create a new era of football for the beleaguered sports nation from this summer. The team recently was visited by Zinedine Zidane and a few other teammates on the successful 1998 World Cup title winning team during training and the famous midfielder along with a few other past legends stressed the importance for the squad to start anew under the leadership of their former national team teammate and current manger Laurent Blanc.
Zidane believes that the squad can achieve extraordinary things under Blanc and stressed that the former defender was the right man for the job considering his past success as a national team player:
Laurent is the right man for the job because of his experience and the player he was. Because the team is starting from scratch, they can do some extraordinary things together.
And Blanc will truly have to start from scratch considering the suspension of four of the team’s key players heading into the World Cup this summer. Nicolas Anelka of course received an 18 match ban that left the Chelsea man laughing at the FFF and his time as a national team representative is over following his profanity-laced tirade directed at former coach Raymond Domenech this summer. Former captain Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery are both still awaiting the end of their suspensions as well. Evra was suspended five matches and Ribery three. Jeremy Toulahan was the only other suspended player from this summer’s antics and the footballer has already served his one game suspension, but was not selected for the upcoming match against Belarus anyway.
Blanc will likely be without forgotten forward this summer Karim Benzema as well due to the Real Madrid man experiencing a brief injury earlier in the week, so several fresh faces will be seen in today’s match. Blanc also has stressed that his side needs to be properly represent their country by singing the national anthem before the match. The coach claimed that playing for your country is a great honor and singing the anthem is a way of showing appreciation for the privilege of representing your nation. The coach even went as far as to hand out lyrics to the song because he believed that many of the members did not know all the words.
The French national team was among the most successful at the turn of the millennium, but in the last decade the side has experienced several frustrating results in the biggest international events.
Blanc hopes to change that under his new regime.