France optimistic minus Ribery

Paris - As the France team arrived in Brazil this week the atmosphere back home was becoming increasingly optimistic, with sport newspaper L'Equipe carrying the headline "Dreaming is allowed" on Tuesday.

The not insignificant blow of losing Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery to injury has been put to one side by most people, if not everyone.

"Oh, still..." was coach Didier Deschamps' reaction when asked about Ribery at the press conference after Sunday's final warm-up game against Jamaica.

That match being won 8-0 in clinical fashion has put the nation on cloud nine ahead of France's opening World Cup match against Honduras this Sunday, even without Ribery.

And lessons seem to have been learned from the South African debacle of 2010 when France were eliminated in the group stage with a squad riddled by bickering and quarrels.

"We are ready, we have prepared very well, and worked seriously for three weeks," said midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

The view from outside the squad is equally positive with former international Bixente Lizarazu writing in L'Equipe that the dual striker system of Oliver Giroud and Karim Benzema used against Jamaica could work at the World Cup.

"Unlike in 2010, we love this French team," said Le Parisian newspaper in a video.

"This is already a first victory." It is expected that more victories will follow in Brazil.

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