Saturday, 7 December 2013

Press hail France as World Cup draw `winners`

Press hail France as World Cup draw `winners`

Press hail France as World Cup draw `winners`
Paris: The French press on Saturday unanimously hailed `Les Bleus` as winners of the draw for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Even France coach Didier Deschamps could not conceal his delight after seeing his side scoop Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in Friday`s World Cup draw in Costa do Sauipe.

"Les Bleus, world champions of the draw," headlined Le Parisien which devoted a three-page spread to the 2014 World Cup.

"France now has the right to dream," continued the daily which estimated that Deschamps`s side, who grabbed their berth to the final in the play-offs against Ukraine, "were served like royalty".

France had to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit and qualify for Brazil last month, beating Ukraine 3-0 in Paris.

"A team that has won just one match in their last three finals (Euro 2008 and 2012, World Cup 2010) cannot be favourites for anything," the newspaper warned, before adding that a team "which could push itself beyond its limits to come back after trailing Ukraine, has all the same the right to dream".

Although the draw does not dominate all the front pages which focus on the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela, the tone is the same in both the national and regional press.

"Les Bleus spoilt in the draw ... in without doubt the easiest pool in the 2014 World Cup," wrote Le Figaro, as Le Dauphiné Libéré celebrated France`s "luck of the draw".

Sports daily L`Equipe naturally devoted the entire front page to the draw with a headline "A gift to open".

On the inside pages, the sports daily urged France "to be worthy of this chance" and also recalled the luck which accompanies Deschamps, captain of Les Bleus, who were world champions in 1998 and European champions in 2000 and now coach.

"The day that luck was handed out Didier Deschamps was there in the front row.

"In the incomparable destiny of the Bleus` coach, there is the part that the Basque knew how to create and there is this part that never leaves him, this good star which watches over his achievements and his draws," the newspaper added. AFP ------------------

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