France have never been the same since Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Matterazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
Despite the wealth of talent at their disposal, racial controversy has disrupted the national side's selection and preparation.
World ranking (as of November 2011): 15
Coach: Laurent Blanc
They needed an infamous 'handball goal' from Thierry Henry to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and even then, the side imploded after a bust-up between then-manager Raymond Domenech and Nicolas Anelka.
Players and officials picked sides and boycotted training, and France unsurprisingly bowed out in the group stages.
Rebuilding began after the debacle in Africa with the dismissal of Domenech, an overhaul in the federation and the hiring of Laurent Blanc, whose first act was to suspend the 23-man World Cup squad and start from scratch.
Can they win it?
The officials have changed, but the talent at the country's disposal is still there for picking, and France have talent. Loads of it.
Motivation is key as Blanc has made it clear that squad places are still up for grabs and has proved it by calling up a variety of players.
Karin Benzema will be favourites to make the squad with his excellent form and his electric pace and clinical finishing is certainly an asset that strikes fears into opponents.
Another prime candidate to revive France is Yohan Cabaye, who has helped revived his club, Newcastle United, with his disciplined defence and excellent distribution.
With a steady manager and a deep talent pool, France are definitely one of the favourites to lift the trophy next year.
Best performance at European Championships: Winners (1984 & 2000)