Saturday, July 22, 2017

What if France World Cup 1994

France in 1993 vs Bulgaria
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
South France
Players born in the Overeseas Department and former French Colonies
French Black Players 
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
England 1974

France had a good side in 1994.  They consisted of the 1991 Ballon d'or winner Jean Pierre Papin, Eric Cantona, Jocelyn Angloma, Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps. They were on the edge for a qualification to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.  They needed a draw with two games to spare.  They lost to Israel with a 90th minute goal.  On the very last match, France again lost to Bulgaria on another last minute goal.

In the US, Both Bulgaria and Sweden (the group winner of the WCQers) advanced all the way to the semifinal.  What if France qualified for the USA 1994. This is the 22 players i selected for France if they had qualified for USA 1994.

GK: Bernard Lama 
Lama left Guiana in 1981 to come to Franceto become a professional footballer.  He started with Lille, but also played in Brest and Metz.  In 1992, he joined PSG, where he found stardom.  He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1996.  After a brief career with West Ham and Rennes, he retired.  Capped 44 times.  He was mainly a backup throughout his NT career.  He was on the team that won the WC in 1998.

GK: Bruno Martini
Martini started playing professionally for AJ Auxerre. After a loan stint with AS Nancy, going on to appear in 322 Ligue 1 games while also helping it to a 1992–93 semifinal run in the UEFA Cup. After four seasons with Montpellier HSC, Having gained more than 30 caps for France during nine years, Martini represented the nation in two European Championships: 1992 and 1996

GK: Fabien Barthez
He is France's most decorated goalkeeper.  He won the WC in 1998 at home and then, the European Championship two years later. He won  Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.  He had 87 caps for "Les Bleus".

RB: Jocelyn Angloma 
Angloma was a member of the great Marseille team of the early 1990's.  He won the European Cup in 1993.  He later played for Valencia and reached the Champions' League Final twice. He was a member of the French team at Euro 1992 and 1996.
Jocelyn Angloma 
CB/DM: Paul Le Guen 
During his playing career, Le Guen played at Stade Brest for six years, Nantes Atlantique for two years, before leaving Brittany for Paris St. Germain where he played for seven years (with 478 appearances and a Cup Winners' Cup medal in 1996).  At international level he played 17 times for France due to injuries and he was part of the team which lost out on a trip to the World Cup in 1994.

CB:  Laurent Blanc
Nicknamed  "Le Président" for leadership skills.  He was a member of the French team that won the WC 1998 at home and Euro 2000 in Belgium and Holland.  He played for Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United.
Laurent Blanc

CB: Alain Roche 
He played for Bordeaux, Marseille, Auxerre, Paris SG and Valencia. His most productive years were spent at PSG, where he notably won the European Cup Winners' Cup. Earned 25 caps. He went to Euro 1996 in England.

CB: Basile Boli 
For club football, Boli played for Auxerre, Marseille, Rangers, Monaco and Urawa Reds.  He was a member of Bernard Tapie's Marseille that won the 1993 European Cup. He scored the only goal at the Final.  He left the club in 1994.  For France, he won 45 caps and went to Euro 1992.  
Basile Boli 
LB:  Bixente Lizarazu
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1998 and 2000.  He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and played for Atletico Bilbao.  

LB: Éric Di Meco
Di Meco played mostly for Olympique de Marseille, serving loans at AS Nancy and FC Martigues, After Marseille's relegation at the end of the 1993–94 season, due to irregularities, Di Meco joined AS Monaco FC. Capped 23 times.  He went to Euro 1996.

CB/DM: Franck Sauzée
He played 39 times for the French national team between 1988 and 1993, scoring nine goals and captaining the team several times. He achieved great success at club level during the same period, winning the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final and three league titles with Marseille. Later in his career he earned great plaudits for his performances for Scottish club Hibernian, whom Sauzée subsequently managed for a short period.

CB/DM:  Marcel Desailly 
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's.  He played 116 times for France, winning the WC in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year. He also played for Nantes and Chelsea, among others.

DM:  Didier Deschamps
He was only the second captain in history to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for each club.
Didier Deschamps
CM: Emmanuel Petit
Petit was a key player for France during its glorious period.  He represented France at international level in two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships; he scored the third goal in France's 3–0 victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final and was also a member of the French squad that won UEFA Euro 2000.He played at club level for Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea as a midfielder.

CM: Vincent Guerin
In a career stretching from 1984 to 2002, he played for Stade Brestois 29, Matra Racing, Montpellier Hérault, Paris Saint-Germain, Heart of Midlothian in Scotland and, finally, with Red Star 93. Capped 19 times.  He went to Euro 1996.
He moved to France as a 16 years old.  He spent most of his career with AJ Auxerre.  He was capped 22 times for France between 1991 and 1994.

LW: David Ginola 
For the national team, he was blamed for the goal against Bulgaria that eliminated France for the 1994 WC qualification.  He moved to England shortly afterward.  Ginola became a big star at the English Preimer League in the late 1990's.  In England, he played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Everton.  he won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999. 

AM: Reynald Pedros 
Pedros played as a left-footed attacking midfielder, formed in Nantes. He was part of the magic trio of FC Nantes with Patrice Loko and Nicolas Ouédec. He won the Ligue 1 title with Nantes in 1995. The following year he reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. His career suffered after 1996.  He played for many clubs, including Mariselle, Nastia, Napoli, Parma, Lyon, etc.  Capped 25 times.  His reputation suffered after Euro 1996, where he missed a penalty against the Czech Republic.
Reynald Pedros 
AM: Youri Djorkaeff 
He is the son of French international Jean Djorkaeff. He played for many clubs in Europe, including Monaco, PSG, Inter Milan, Kaiserslautern, etc.  He was a part of the great French team that won the WC in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000. He is considered one of the best French offensive players in that era.

FW: Eric Cantona 
Before joining Leeds United in 1992, Cantona was known as the bad boy of French football.  He moved to England to restart his career.  In England, he became a huge star.  He won the league title with Leeds United and moved to Manchester United.  At Manchester United, he became one of their best ever players. For the national team, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for the WC in 1994. 
Eric Cantona
ST: Patrice Loko 
Once projected to be a star player in France before mental issue git to him. Playing as a striker he began his career at Nantes and then moved on to Paris Saint-Germain, where he was part of the team that won the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup.  From there he went on to play for Montpellier, Lyon, Troyes, FC Lorient and Ajaccio. He also made appearances for the French national football team, including scoring at Euro 1996 against Bulgaria.

He is the Ballon d'Or winner in 1991. He was a member of the great Marseille team of the 1990's, but left the season before they lifted their first ever European Cup.  He later played for AC Milan, FC Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Guingamp, JS Saint-Pierroise and US Cap-Ferret. Papin also played 54 times for the French national team. 
Jean Pierre Papin

Players Pool
Xavier Gravelaine, Bernard Casoni, Jean-Philippe Durand, Laurent Fournier, Jean-Luc Dogon, Jérôme Gnako, Jean-Luc Sassus, Nicolas Ouédec.

Squad Explanation
-- Gérard Houllier was their manager who resigned after their failure in the World Cup Qualifiers. 
-- France played in the Kirin Cup on May, 1994, but their roster would not be the same if they had qualified for USA 1994.  France 
-- Fabian Barthez is the only player who made his debut after the WC Qualifiers to make the team. In real life, he made his national team debut in June, 1994. Houllier was not the manager by then. I do not know if Houllier would give his debut.  Barthez is probably the best third keeper available.
-- Lilian Thuram, Christian Karembeu, Zinedine Zidane and Christophe Dugarry all made their debut in 1994 after the World Cup Qualifying disaster.  If France qualified for USA 1994, France would have kept the team intact.  These players probably would have delayed their debut. 
-- Later in their careers, Reynakd Pedros would lose out to Zinedine Zidane.  For USA 1994, I chose Pedros over Zidane.  Reynald Pedros were a part of the World Cup Qualifiers while Zidane had not played for France.  I trued to be as realistic as possible.
-- Both Corentin Martins and Youri Djorkaeff played in 1993.  Martins actually played more than Djorkaeff, but Djorkaeff finished as the 2nd top scorer in Ligue 1.
-- If France qualified for the World Cup Finals, David Ginola would not have committed the mistake that led to the elimination. He would not be a scapegoat. The same applied to Franck Sauzée and Basile Boli, who played their last international match against Bulgaria in real life.

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