France are still in the process of
rebuilding after the World Cup fiasco and no miracles can be
expected at next year's Euro 2012 finals, coach Laurent Blanc
said on Friday.
Les Bleus, who were knocked out in the first round in South
Africa following off-pitch dramas, qualified for the European
finals although they failed to impress over the qualifying
campaign despite winning their group by a point from Bosnia and
losing only once in their 10 games.
Blanc, who took over from Raymond Domenech after the World
Cup debacle told the sports daily L'Equipe on Friday that people
should not expect miracles from France in Poland and Ukraine
"In 15 months, people want us to have a great team with
great players and play like the Netherlands, Spain or Germany.
It is impossible!," Blanc said.
"We said, and we say it again, that it would take time. You
don't buy quality of play, or a team, in the supermarket."
Blanc added that writing off those involved in the South
Africa farce had never been an option.
The France players went on strike after striker Nicolas
Anelka was kicked out of the squad for insulting Domenech at
half-time in a first-round game against Mexico.
"The scar will always be there. We have to live with it.
They all did a stupid thing. All of them," said Blanc.
"We could have said: 'people don't want to see them. All
those who were there in South Africa, it's over! They're 22, 23? We don't care! Then people would have been happy.
"The only problem is that after three games and three
defeats, the same people would have been screaming 'we want a
France team that wins, that's all.
"So either we did that, or we did what we just did: keeping
these players but trying to change their state of mind. Four or
five years were needed for the first solution and I was not up
France, who are 12th in the FIFA world rankings, could be in
Pot 4 of the lowest ranked teams when the draw for the finals is
made in Kiev on December 2 - and that's a cause for concern for
"If we have Spain and Germany in our group, it will be very
tough to get through the first round," said Blanc.
"People can fantasise but I am telling you the truth."
No matter what happens in Poland and Ukraine or in the
subsequent World Cup qualifying campaign for the 2014 finals in
Brazil at least France are assured of a place in the 2016 Euro
finals as the host nation of what will be the first expanded
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