‘”Les Bleus in a nightmare” read the headline from French sports daily L’Equipe following France’s 2-0 loss to Ukraine in a World Cup playoff in Kiev last Friday. And that was one of the nicer reports from the French media, which seems resigned to its national team losing the two-game series and thus missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1994.
“In terms of what we saw on Friday night, a reverse would be almost miraculous,” L’Equipe said. “The French would do well just to draw the second leg." The French public isn’t optimistic, either: In a poll conducted by Le Parisien, 89.7 percent of respondents said they do not believe that France will go to Brazil.
L’Equipe bemoaned how the influence of reigning European Player of the Year Franck Ribery “was reduced to nothing,” and added that “his teammates did not take advantage of the tight marking which he faced all match." French daily Le Monde, meanwhile, said France’s seven English Premier League players did not play well, particularly Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, who gave away a penalty for Ukraine’s second goal, and Manchester City’s Samir Nasri, who created little.