How they qualified: Drawn in a group of just five teams, and one of those being world champions Spain, it was always going to be a bit of a slog for France to make it to Brazil 2014. So it proved, as Deschamps' mercurial side seldom found top gear. The play-offs it was then and after a 2-0 defeat in Ukraine in the first leg they got their act together, pulling off an impressive 3-0 comeback win. Sharpened knives were put back in the drawer.
World Cup pedigree: Zinedine Zidane inspired a victory at home in 1998, and about time too for a nation that had previously produced players of the calibre of Just Fontaine and Michel Platini. Since then France have mostly flattered to deceive, although they nearly won a second title in 2006, losing to Italy in a final that will always be remembered for Zidane's out-of-character headbutt on Marco Materazzi.
Main man: Franck Ribery is enjoying the best period of his career with a Balon d'Or nomination and a treble at Bayern Munich under his belt. The next goal for the gifted midfielder is to turn it on for France at a major tournament. His threat from wide areas and clever use of the ball will be crucial.
One to watch: Raphael Varane is a centre-back with the world at his feet. The Real Madrid youngster is athletic, decisive and composed beyond his 20 years. He's tipped to become the world's top defender and when you see him routinely dispossess forwards with immaculate timing, you know why.
What are their chances? Terrible or excellent, who can say? With Hugo Lloris and Varane in defence, Ribery and Mathieu Valbuena making chances, and Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema up front, they don't want for talent. And Group E is for Easy(ish).