- Title: FRANCE: THE FRENCH WORLD CUP FINAL 22 POSE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Date: 3rd June 1998
- Summary: CLAIREFONTAINE, FRANCE (JUNE 2, 1998) 1. PAN FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS TO FRENCH SQUAD POSING 2. CLOSE UP FRENCH COACH AIME JACQUET 3. ZINEDINE ZIDANE 4. FABIEN BARTEZ (TOP LEFT), EMMANUELLE PETIT (BOTTOM LEFT) 5. WIDE SHOT OF SQUAD POSING 6. DIDIER DECHAMPS (RIGHT) 7. SQUAD WITH MASCOTS 8. CLOSE UP GOALKEEPER BERNHARD LAMA 9. PLAYERS THROW MASCOTS IN THE AIR 10. JACQUET WALKS BY 11. YOURDI DJORKAEFF WALKS BY 12. CHRISTIAN KAREMBEU SIGNING AUTOGRAPH Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 17th June 1998 13:00
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- Location: CLAIREFONTAINE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA1XHTDXJ6D045TY0VED4L4U0T0
- Story Text:The French World Cup final 22 posed for photographers Tuesday, before playing their final wram-up matches in Finland later this week.
With just eight days to go before the World Cup finals open, alarm bells are starting to ring about the fitness of the French national team, one of the favourites to win the tournament.
French libero Laurent Blanc said he feared the players were tired and losing their key asset -- the ability to dominate opponents with the sheer force of their physical presence.
Blanc said he was worried by the team's performances at the King Hassan tournament in Morocco, particularly the match against the hosts which finished in a 2-2 draw.
Blanc said he was concerned that the hard work done in the French training camp had left the team drained with less than two weeks to go before their opening match against South Africa in Marseille.
France have only lost three matches in 45 under Aime Jacquet with Blanc a cornerstone in defence but they have only played friendlies since the European championship finals two years ago.
Jacquet said France's build-up had been planned so the squad would all be fully fit by July 12 when they play South Africa.
He said they were not all on a par now because some had joined the squad later than others because of club commitments.
But he was pleased with his players' form and the fact that they had come through the King Hassan tournament with no serious injuries.
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