Manager: Raymond Domenech
Best: Winners (1998)
It might have taken a controversial handball from Thierry Henry to see France past Ireland in the play-offs but Les Bleus just about managed to make it through to South Africa. More recently, their preparations have been cast under a shadow by a police investigation into an alleged prostitution scandal in which star player Franck Ribery and striker Sidney Govou have been questioned. The squad certainly doesn't lack in talent goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, defenders Patrice Evra and William Gallas, midfielders Ribery and Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka up front would grace any tournament but serious doubts remain about the coaching abilities of Raymond Domenech. It is widely reported that he does not enjoy the respect of some of his squad's senior players, and the fans have been known to boo him during home games. It wouldn't be a huge shock if the French made an early exit à la 2002, especially as the team won't even need to impress Domenech. He's departing after the World Cup with former World Cup winner Laurent Blanc (and more recently, Bordeaux coach) expected to replace him.
Player to watch: If the sleazy headlines about Franck Ribery don't affect him, the Bayern Munich maestro can cast a dazzling spell over the opposition.