Malouda hints at French problems

Chelsea star Florent Malouda is not expecting France to enjoy a good World Cup campaign after admitting that Les Bleus have a lot of underlying problems within their squad.

France won the tournament on home soil 12 years ago before adding the Euro 2000 title to their list of honours and even managed to reach the final in Germany four years ago.

However, a repeat of a dismal 2002 campaign when they failed to qualify from their group after losing to Senegal on the opening day of the tournament, or Euro 2008, seem more likely, according to Malouda.

He told the Guardian:"The problem is, after what we did in 2006 – and of course there was a great generation in 1998 and 2000 – expectations are very high.

"Euro 2008 was a disaster, so when you're in a bad situation everything is coming out and people are pointing the finger.

"The World Cup is really close and honestly we have a lot of problems to fix. When there is tension, when there are high-pressure games, you need characters. You need people to come out and say 'I will take responsibility'.

"Honestly we have a lot of problems. We have to talk about a lot of things. But for that you need someone to take the first step. Guys like (Patrick) Vieira and (Claude) Makelele who can take the lead. If they are not there, somebody has to do it."

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