France land in Germany with stand-in Govou
HANOVER, June 8 (Reuters) - Striker Sidney Govou, a late addition by France after Djibril Cisse broke his leg, landed in Germany with the rest of their World Cup squad on Thursday.
Govou joined the 1998 champions in St Etienne for their flight to Hanover.
A small group of flag-waving fans were waiting at the airport and cheered the 23 players as they climbed on to a coach which took them to their base, a castle turned luxury hotel about 60 km south of the city.
Cisse, who had been expected to team up in attack with Thierry Henry for France's opening game against Switzerland in Stuttgart on Tuesday, was ruled out of the finals after breaking his right leg in a 3-1 warm-up win over China on Wednesday.
'Everybody was in a state of shock in the locker room,' coach Raymond Domenech told reporters. 'I even saw a few who were close to tears.'
Like the injured Liverpool player, Govou can play as an out and out centre forward or off another striker, although he prefers to play on the right wing.
The 26-year-old Govou, who plays for French champions Olympique Lyon, has won 19 caps, scoring three goals.
England midfielder Steven Gerrard had kind words for Liverpool team mate Cisse.
'Obviously, me, Jamie (Carragher), Peter (Crouch) and Scott (Carson) send our regards to Djibril,' said Gerrard at England's training ground near Baden Baden.
'We know how hard he worked to get back from his first leg break and it's really frustrating for him to break his leg again. It's a really sad time for him.'
Cisse broke his left leg in a Premier League game in October 2004.
David Trezeguet, who came on as a substitute on Wednesday and opened the scoring after 31 minutes, is the favourite to replace Cisse in the starting lineup.
France, who also play South Korea and Togo in Group G, are desperate to avoid a repeat of their 2002 display.
The then world champions were sent packing after failing to win a match or score a goal in the group stage.
Their campaign kicked off poorly when they crashed 1-0 to Senegal in the competition's opening match.
The players say the atmosphere is much better than four years ago when they were troubled by internal squabbling.
There was one major positive to emerge from the win over China.
Playmaker Zinedine Zidane, who will retire after the World Cup, looked more convincing after below-par performances in the previous two friendlies.
Another ray of hope came from gifted midfielder Franck Ribery, who sparkled after coming on as a late substitute.