World Cup: France
(Christophe Ena / AP)
France's national team poses before a qualifying match against Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18, 2009.
Men's ranking: 8
Overall World Cup record: 25-16-10
Coach: Raymond Domenech
Best performance: Winner 1998
Overview: Having been steered into the World Cup by the hand of Thierry Henry, a foul that went uncalled in a qualifying playoff win over Ireland, and coming off Zinedine Zidane's infamous head butt in the 2006 Cup final, the French will not be widely popular, especially among referees. Still, they have definite quality in the likes of Karim Benzema, Youann Gourcuff, Franck Ribery and Nicolas Anelka and so must count as contenders. -- Grahame L. Jones