The French will still be bitterly disappointed losing the final of Euro 2016 when they were comfortably the best team in the tournament. On home soil, Les Bleus had already defeated world champions Germany in the semifinal but came unstuck against the miserly Portugal in the final.
The side has grown since then, however. Names such as Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Ousmane Dembele have emerged and France have this exciting, youthful team that can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the world.
Due to a slight lack of experience, France may not be regarded as one of the absolute front-runners for success at the World Cup in Russia, but their trip to the final at Euro 2016 means they do know how to go deep into a tournament, and that heartbreak could spur them on.
With so much pace throughout their squad, France are an excellent choice for the World Cup update for FIFA 18. RealSport brings you the perfect guide to setting up with the French on the game.
France have a 5 star rating on FIFA 18. This is comprised of 85 attack, 85 midfield and 82 defence scores.
France’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
Uruguay or Portugal
It’s a dream group stage draw for France, who will be eying nine points from nine and plenty of goals. The Round of 16 brings a step up in quality, and Croatia would be stubborn opponents, but still no match for the French. Nigeria and Iceland are also possible opposition in the second round and would pose very different threats.
A quarterfinal clash against Uruguay or Portugal would be ideal preparation for the closing stages, with revenge firmly on French minds if they were to meet Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions.
Brazil are the most likely side to meet France in the semifinals, but Belgium and Colombia would also pose serious attacking threats to Didier Deschamps’ men. As for the final, you would expect to face Germany, but Spain and Argentina could also go deep into the tournament.
France’s default formation is a 4-2-3-1 wide, but we have adjusted this into a 4-3-2-1 to get plenty of attacking talent in dangerous areas. If you fancy going even more attacking, you could opt for a three at the back system, utilising your three 85-rated centre halves.
The reliable Hugo Lloris (90 GK reflexes) skippers the side in goal, and his back four is made of Djibril Sidibe, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti and Benjamin Mendy.
Paul Pogba (91 strength) and N’Golo Kante (95 stamina) line up in central midfield alongside Blaise Matuidi.
Antoine Griezmann (90 agility) attacks from the right of a dangerous front three, with Kylian Mbappe from the left and Olivier Giroud through the middle.
Your bench should consist of Steve Mandanda, Laurent Koscielny, Lucas Digne, Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele and Alexandre Lacazette.
The difficulty you will face managing the French team is getting the best out of the crazy attacking talent you have at your disposal. Customising player instructions can help you some way to doing this.
You should be looking to utilise the pace (93 sprint speed) of Mbappe, so he should ‘get in behind’ for his attacking runs.
Getting balance in midfield is the key in this French side. Paul Pogba has been up-and-down since returning to Manchester United because of difficulties in his role, so to solve this tell him to ‘get forward’ on attacking support.
To even things out, the dogged N’Golo Kante should ‘stay back while attacking’ but put on ‘aggressive interceptions’ to make the most out of his ability. Later in the tournament against more dangerous opponents, you may wish to do something similar with Blaise Matuidi.
With your two ‘wide' players lining up close to Olivier Giroud in attack, you will need your full backs to provide the width. Change their attacking runs to ‘always overlap’, and make the most out of Giroud’s aerial ability (90 heading) by put his attacking runs as ‘target man’ and support runs to ‘stay central’.
A kind group stage and possibly Round of 16 you have the licence to go for an attacking mentality on the D-pad. From the quarterfinals onwards however, you should shift it back to balanced.
Right your wrongs
France slipped up at Euro 2016, typifying their recent failures on the international stage. They may have had a respectable quarterfinal exit to champions Germany four years ago, but in 2006 Zinedine Zidane’s red card cost them against Italy and in 2002 Les Bleus were dumped out at the group stage.
The players they have an offer makes France one of the best teams to take charge of on the World Cup update as you target a first World Cup trophy since 1998 and look to correct those previous misfortunes. The semifinals should be the minimum target for the French, but with their potential to defeat any nation, World Cup success is within your grasp.
France squad player ratings
|Raphael Varane||24||CB||Real Madrid||85|
|Aymeric Laporte||23||CB||Manchester City||82|
|Djibril Sidibe||25||RB LB||Monaco||80|
|Benjamin Mendy||23||LB||Manchester City||80|
|Lucas Hernandez||22||LB CB||Atletico Madrid||79|
|Kurt Zouma||23||CB RB||Stoke||79|
|Benjamin Pavard||22||RB CB||Stuttgart||78|
|N’Golo Kante||27||CDM CM||Chelsea||88|
|Paul Pogba||25||CM CDM||Manchester United||86|
|Blaise Matuidi||31||CDM CM||Juventus||85|
|Dimitri Payet||31||LM CAM LW||Marseille||84|
|Nabil Fekir||24||CAM ST||Lyon||83|
|Ousmane Dembele||20||RM LM RW||Barcelona||83|
|Corentin Tolisso||23||CM CDM||Bayern Munich||83|
|Steven N’Zonzi||29||CDM CM||Sevilla||83|
|Anthony Martial||22||LM ST||Manchester United||83|
|Adrien Rabiot||23||CM CDM||PSG||82|
|Kingsley Coman||21||LM RM||Bayern Munich||82|
|Geoffrey Kondogbia||25||CDM CM||Valencia||80|
|Tiemoue Bakayoko||23||CDM CM||Chelsea||80|
|Moussa Sissoko||28||RM CM CAM||Tottenham||79|
|Yohan Cabaye||32||CM CDM||Crystal Palace||78|
|Antoine Griezmann||27||CF ST||Atletico Madrid||89|
|Kylian Mbappe||19||ST RM RW||PSG||85|
|Kevin Gameiro||31||ST||Atletico Madrid||81|