French World Cup Team Has Uphill Battle at Home

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    BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: MacBeth Sibaya of South Africa challenges Florent Malouda of France during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and South Africa at the Free State Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

    France winger Florent Malouda says restoring the team's battered reputation is now the priority after its disastrous World Cup. The process will start with another of its stars meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy. France's presidential palace says Thierry Henry will meet with Sarkozy on Thursday to discuss the national team's shocking first-round knockout from the tournament.

    A spokesman said Henry requested the meeting. Coach Raymond Domenech and his players are expected to return home Wednesday to a hostile reception from a nation shocked by their behavior during the tournament. Malouda says "we deserve our position right now" and "we are going to have to work hard to restore the image of the national team."