France exited the World Cup with a 2-1 loss to hosts South Africa after being reduced to ten men 26 minutes into the game. The French finished bottom of their group and, unfortunately, South Africa also failed to progress. From The Guardian Sports Blog’s Amy Lawrence
La fin. Let the discredits roll. Let Les Bleus depart the total shambles that they are. Their World Cup 2010 experience has been so unfathomably awful, it is hard to know where to begin with the inquest. A poll conducted by Canal Plus split the blame pretty evenly between the players, the manager and the French Football Federation. All of them have blundered their way through South Africa in their own special way.
How has it come to this? For a group of the 1998 World Cup winners who are all attending this World Cup for one reason or another – Zinedine Zidane is showing his ambassadorial face, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit are TV pundits, Thierry Henry is on the inside – it must feel like the betrayal of their heritage. Mutiny, treachery, bitchiness, on top of abject performances on the pitch. This fiasco is everything that their triumphant team of old was not.
And a special mention must go to the French coach, Raymond Domenech
So, farewell then Raymond. Another disjointed and spineless performance is a fitting epitaph to a desperately bizarre period for Les Bleus. Monsieur Domenech will go down in the record books as their longest-serving coach.
He will be remembered as the man who excruciatingly proposed to his girlfriend on live television after France’s exit at Euro 2008. He will be cursed as the man who oversaw the most unsavoury campaign in the history of French football. He left the stage with a moody refusal to shake the hand of his opposite number, Carlos Alberto Parreira. He is a toe-curler extraordinaire.