Zinedine Zidane: “France will qualify”

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The Real Madrid sporting director is as confident as ever.

Zinedine Zidane, legendary former French striker and current figurehead at the Bernabeu, didn’t leave any hesitation where he thought France would end up in their World Cup qualifier.

“You came to ask me questions about the France team, so I’ll get up and leave. We all know they will qualify.”

Problem is, they’re down 2-0 to Ukraine as Les Bleus head home to Saint-Denis.

It’s not over yet, but with disappointment after disappointment etched in recent memories for France, the outlook isn’t so positive for many.

So far this calendar year, they’ve lost to Germany and Spain at home, were overrun by Brazil and Uruguay in a pair of friendlies, failed to score a goal at Belgium or Georgia, and most recently fell in their vital World Cup qualifying playoff to Ukraine.

Now, with their World Cup futures hanging by a thread, the players are prepared, at least mentally.  Striker Olivier Giroud says the team will do whatever it takes to win.

“We are ready to die on the field to get there,” the Arsenal striker told L’Equipe. “We must find the right balance (of fight and composure) and continue to play our game.  It will not be easy because there will be a lot of tension, a lot of stress.  This is the game of the year.”

Giroud continued defiantly, “We’ll do it, I firmly believe it.”

Game of the four years, more like it.  If France can’t pull out the major comeback and leapfrog Ukraine, it will be a full World Cup cycle before they will be able to enact any sort of redemption.