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Which Country Is In A More Dire State ? France Or Italy?
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Two countries. Two world cup 2006 finalist. France and Italy.

5 recent Italy friendlies - against Swiss goalless draw
____________________against Netherland goalless draw
____________________against Sweden 1- 0 win
____________________against Cameroon goalless draw
____________________against Mexico 1-2 loss

4 recent France friendlies - against Spain 0-2 loss
____________________against Costa Rica 2-1 win
____________________against Tunisia 1-1 draw
____________________against China 0-1 loss

In 5 games Italy managed a miserable 2 goals, 3 draws, a win and a loss each. While that record doesn't seems all that bad(unbeaten in 4/5 games), its pretty much obvious this current Italy cannot score.

In the 4 games till now, France managed to get more losses than wins. A much inferior record compared to Italy. With the talent that they have, (with all due respect to the opponents bar Spain) they should win and win comfortably. With 1/2 of their recent games ended in losses, the last one coming against China(What?!), are they in a more precarious position?

Have your say...
ACMilan21 (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Also, the key word here is friendlies.
A friendly is not an official game, and is often organized so that new players can be tried out.
I know that Italy had players like Boriello, Candreva, Sirigu, Cassani, Cossu and Rossi.
It is hard to indicate how well a team is doing during friendlies. But I do agree that France and Italy are not at their best. Especially France though
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Yeah, but no one wants to lose or rather not win Friendlies either, it would mean that you haven't find the formula yet, and it proves correct. France and Italy are struggling at the moment
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 6 years ago
Wouldn't worry at all about Italy, they never perform their best until it really counts. They certainly have the players to go all the way in the World Cup.
France on the other hand.... Think they might struggle
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
With the exception of 1934, whenever Italy wins any championship, they flopped miserably in the next edition
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 6 years ago
I don't think Italy will win this time around but would expect them at least to the QF
Rossonero (AC Milan) 6 years ago
But this time Italy has Lippi, he own$!
Ltm017 6 years ago
Doesn't even matter because Italy has an easy group so they will make it out. While France has a harder group and will find it hard to make it out
Realmcoy (Arsenal) 6 years ago
This is true. Italy has it easy in the 1st round.... France is in a bad spot right now and need to step up or they'll be out!
Barracuda (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Domenech = Disaster    But we never know
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Hmm.... Italy always go as underdogs, and emerge victorious. And moreover Lippi isn't as f****d up as Domenech. And, Italy is in an easy group, so getting knocked out will be almost incredible.
So I'd say France
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
Italy won the last world cup so I would expect them to be a treat coming into this world cup but for some reason they haven't shown the strength needed to be even considered a a finalist. If you ask 20 who will win the world cup maybe one will say italy. They need to show the strength that brazil and spain show. Just the name should strike fear into the other team players but they fell way below expectations to me
Sam (Footytube Moderator) 6 years ago
Great question- one that many followers of either team are probably pondering, given the fact that we were both finalists 4 years ago. Both teams are in dire straits- no creativity, aging players, stubborn coaches- all pretty sad. I know that it's hard not to read into warm-up games leading into a tournament, but with some of these bigger teams, you almost have to. Italy are notorious for having slow starts and trying to finish strong, and France have found ways to stick around in tournaments when they haven't had much talent.

Staying away from history or cliches and going based off of recent games though, I would have to say France are looking pretty poor right now. It's almost like Domenech refuses to make adjustments and expects that the players that he has, albeit veterans, will make the necessary adjustments on the field. Lippi has tried experimenting with different players and formations, and although the results haven't come, he has tried working everyone into games.... I do expect both teams to perform poorly though
Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
I think they are in a similar situation, where they have two ageing teams.
I don't think enough young talent has been used by either nation now for a period of years, and now they are paying for that mistake.
They both need a fresh more youthful team, and get rid of the dinosaurs
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Italy does have one of the oldest looking squad around, while France does have new blood in Ribery, Benzema, Gourcuff. Surely they could do better. Its probably the two coaches who are dinosaurs.

Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
You know ribery is 28 and benzima did not make the team
Minadeo (Juventus) 6 years ago
And that the dinosaur, Lippi, won the WC 4 years ago
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Domenech - Looks to the stars for players he picks and drops. The mans a idiot. France have no chance in my opinion.

Lippi - Good manager and Italy are underdogs and do come out on top. They won't win this year though. But there do better than france.

Like Tony said they need to invest in youth
Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
Well I think laurent blanc is their next man up, so he will be more forward thinking than the last clown I would guess, and bring some fresh meat into the squad
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Laurent blanc is a great tactician but I'm not so sure about his motivation skills, which is massive at the international level. I hope he succeeds, but I am rather skeptical
Barracuda (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Italy always had a experienced squad with couple of youngsters. I think its just the way they operate
Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
They are also not producing the type of players they used to, which doesent help
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
I can't tell the last time there was a talent from italy that the world was excited about
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Balotelli perhaps? But he was dropped
Rob12 (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Maldini's two sons lol. Future captains of Italy
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
Maybe not, I think rafael will captain the italy team if he decides to play for them. The brothers are citizen of both italy and brazil and rafael said he will play for italy if he doesn't make the brazil squad while fabio said he will only play for barzil
Vivaldi (AC Milan) 6 years ago
If I remember well there is a young italian talent playing for your team. He made you also win a Premier League last year, isn't it?
Somere (Portmore Utd) 6 years ago
Macheda still has a lot to prove. We know he has the talent but there is still a far way to go. At his age rooney was already a starter for united and everton before
Rossonero (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Italy does not need Brazilians cause they are Italians! Many Brazilians and Agentines have Italian talents in their squad due to the Italian immigrants, but only people with Italian blood play for the azzuri!
Sam (Footytube Moderator) 6 years ago
Talent from Italy that the world was excited about? Hmmmm let's see- looking at tournaments in the last 20 years or so, I would have to say Baggio, Del Piero, maybe Christian Vieri (for a little while), Totti, and the world Footballer of the YEAR 2006 Fabio Canavaro!
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Italy doesn't seem to pose much of an attacking threat this year, however they look like when the games that matter come around, they will be solid in the back. France on the other hand is much trickier. They just look bad all over the pitch. They can't play as a team.... They don't know how to. They also really don't seem confident at all. At least italy can eak out 0-0 draws.... France doesn't even seem to have a cohesive back line and their only saving grace will be hugo lloris. However with the players that they have, anything can happen
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
LOL, wrong Blue, Italy now eked out 1-1 draw! 4 in 6 games now they couldn't win.... If they they bring these kind of form to the World cup, then they'll probably still scrape through (with the group they are in) even if they grind out draws, but their defence will definitely get found out in the round of 16...
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
I'd say, Italy have much more time to improve themselves, as their group is as easy as a piece of cake.
And also, Lippi didn't field the first team against Switzerland, he is just testing things around...
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Yea italy almost always shows up when it matters. I still don't find them to be very threatening up front and even their defence doesn't seem as solid as we're used to seeing from them but they will still be tough to beat. I don't see them getting very far to be honest, but I could very well be wrong
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Now they couldn't turn it on in the tourney proper.... Sweating.... -. -!
Vivaldi (AC Milan) 6 years ago
I don't think Italy is too old, only 9 players out of 23 are aged 30 or above, which is a good deal in my opinion. Experience also matters in such a tough competition: I saw many teams in the past celebrating their low average age before the WC, and then going home at the end of the group stage.
Also, I would not put too much emphasis on the results of the friendlies. There is an evident motivational mismatch in a friendly between Italy and Mexico, or between France and China. There's too much noise in these results (athletic condition, motivation, chance, ....) to extract some relevant information for the WC.

I don't think Italy is among the top 3-4 teams, but everyone knows how hard is to beat them in a knock-out round. From 1990 to 2006, Italy always reached at least the round of 16: World Champions in 2006, 3 times eliminated after penalties (1990, 1994, 1998) and 1 time through a golden goal (2002). Hard as hell!
ManUK (Manchester United) 6 years ago
France is in a bad situation after the 2006 world cup I watched them and I knew they where in trouble. Italy too, but I think France is having it worse, bad manager, handball thing, and they just lost to China
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 6 years ago
I think France is in a bad state....The players seem to lack cohesion and will to win, especially because of the way they qualified and the tactics that Domenech uses....
Italy has an aging squad and their own problems but I feel like France is in a worse state....

This Malouda interview seems to indicate problems that run deep in the squad....

Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Totally agree.... Apparently certain players won't even pass the ball to other players, or make eye contact on the team bus. It must be like managing a team of four year olds sometimes
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
French and Dutch are very similar in that they constantly likes to create rift only during the tournament proper. Haha...
Irishtotalfooty (Ajax) 6 years ago
I'd say france! Prob come second in their group then be beat in last 16, italy on the other hand I think won't win it, but theyll be a benchmark for the best. Just like they were in the euros.... They did give spain a massive run for their money after all,

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