SQUAD

Coach: Bruno Bini has been in charge since February 2007. The 56-year-old former Nancy and Orleans midfielder has been involved with the development of the women's game in France for nearly 20 years. Bini led France to the quarter-finals of the 2009 Women's Euro where they lost to the Netherlands on penalties. He was also in charge of the French team which won the 2003 U-19 Euro title in Germany

Goalkeepers: Celine Deville, Berangere Sapowicz, Laetitia Philippe  

Defenders: Wendie Renard, Laure Boulleau, Laura Georges, Ophelie Meilleroux, Laure Lepailleur, Sabrina Viguier   

Midfielders: Sandrine Soubeyrand, Corine Franco, Sonia Bompastor, Camille Abily, Caroline Pizzala, Louisa Necib, Elise Bussaglia   

Forwards: Eugenie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis, Gaetane Thiney, Marie-Laure Delie, Sandrine Bretigny  

1ST ROUND MATCHES (GROUP A)

  • June 26 — vs. Nigeria in Sinsheim
  • June 30 — vs. Canada in Bochum
  • July 5 — vs. Germany in Monchengladbach

SCOUTING REPORT

Strengths: The French are not lacking for confidence after going undefeated (10 wins, 2 draws) in the qualifiers… Scoring won't be a problem for France, who bagged 53 goals in qualifying and can rely on dangerous forward Gaetane Thiney… Opponents will find it tough to break down France thanks to a sturdy back line.

Weaknesses: Aside from Sonia Bompastor, the French don't have any midfielders of genuine quality and experience… France is a rising power in the European game, but it has only previously qualified for one World Cup… The French play host Germany in their final group-stage match, putting pressure on them to take points from each of their first two games against Canada and Nigeria.

Player to watch: Sonia Bompastor — Possessing a sublime touch on the ball and solid creative skills, Bompastor's greatest asset is her versatility, as she is just as comfortable lining up on the left side of midfield as she as at left fullback. As France's second all-time leading scorer, she also has a knack for scoring highlight reel goals, especially off set pieces.

Prospects in Germany: Tough to forecast. Based on qualification, the French appear to be a rising force in women's soccer. However, the fact that they have only once been to the World Cup suggests a lack of genuine quality and experience. There will certainly be pressure to win the opening match against Nigeria since the final group game comes against hosts Germany. A quarter-final place is not beyond this young, offensive squad.   

  • Soccer Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
  • Current FIFA world ranking: 7
  • Team nickname: Les Bleues
  • Team colours: blue jerseys/white shorts

ROAD TO THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

2011 qualification route: The French qualified through the European (UEFA) playoffs after topping their group with a 100 per cent record. They advanced to the playoff series where they beat Italy to confirm their qualification for Germany. In total France scored 53 goals in 12 games — Gaetane Thiney led the way with 12 goals in 11 appearances.

  • Qualification record: 11 wins, 0 losses, 1 tie
  • Goals for: 53
  • Goals against: 2
  • Top goal-scorer in qualifying: Gaetane Thiney (12)

QUALIFYING RESULTS

  • Sept. 23, 2009 — France 7, Croatia 0
  • Oct. 24, 2009 — France 2, Iceland 0
  • Oct. 28, 2009 — France 12, Estonia 0
  • Nov. 21, 2009 — France 2, Serbia 0
  • March 27, 2010 — France 6, Northern Ireland 0
  • March 31, 2010 — France 4, Northern Ireland 0
  • June 20, 2010 — France 3, Croatia 0
  • June 23, 2010 — France 6, Estonia 0
  • Aug. 21, 2010 — France 1, Iceland 0
  • Aug. 25, 2010 — France 7, Serbia 0
  • Sept. 11, 2010 — France 0, Italy 0
  • Sept. 15, 2010 — France 3, Italy 2

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HISTORY

France's only previous World Cup appearance came in 2003 in the United States.

The French lost to Norway in its opening game, and followed it up with a win over South Korea and a tie against Brazil as it bowed out in the first round.

  • Hosted the Women's World Cup: Never
  • Number of previous Women's World Cup appearances: 1
  • All-time record: 1 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie
  • Goals for: 2
  • Goals against: 3
  • All-time top scorer: Marinette Pichon (2)

TRACK RECORD

  • 1991 — Did not qualify
  • 1995 — Did not qualify
  • 1999 — Did not qualify
  • 2003 — First round
  • 2007 — Did not qualify