The Blues have their destiny in their hands.
A victory against Iceland this Friday (6 p.m., beIN Sports 1), would bring them even closer to the quarter-final, next Wednesday, before playing Portugal on Sunday, in the last match of the main round.
And if the France team, sometimes struggling, is still undefeated after four games, it is partly thanks to its goalkeepers - Wesley Pardin (Aix), Vincent Gérard, Yann Genty (PSG) - and to Jean -Luc Kieffer, their trainer.
Wesley Pardin unfortunately returned to France after his serious knee injury - a ruptured cruciate ligament - on Monday against Switzerland.
Too bad because after his titanic performance against Norway at the opening of the World Cup, French coach Guillaume Gille was sure to be able to count on another high-level goalkeeper after Vincent Gérard.
About Pardin's injury, goalkeeper coach Jean-Luc Kieffer, who joined the France group in the summer of 2019, tells how the Blues received her.
“The team immediately felt great emotion.
For a year that we have known each other, we have been successful in advancing Wesley with the support of his club.
He assured me that he will come back stronger, I take my hat off to him.
Just after his injury, he had to react quickly.
Pardin out, Gérard again becomes the number one choice and Yann Genty, usual third knife, goes up a notch.
Now the doublet of PSG doormen is on the front line.
Holder in the club of the capital, Vincent Gérard pulled out all the stops in front of the solid Swiss, as before against Austria.
The Parisian also held the blue house at arm's length against Algeria.
“This shows that it's good to have two keepers who turn and that this does not lead to imbalance, argues Kieffer, who has also been training at Pôle de Strasbourg for twenty years.
Vincent has recovered well from the Final Four in the Champions League.
He is happy to be in the France team and I find him very calm.
When things go badly, it is present in the money time and it is there that we recognize the big ones.
"It is the role of substitutes to be ready and they are"
In reserve since the start of the competition, Yann Genty, the other PSG goalkeeper, has therefore taken his first steps against Algeria.
"It's the role of the substitutes to be ready if Vincent gets injured, and they are," Kieffer explains.
Yann, who also participated in the Final Four, has followed all the training sessions since our arrival.
To replace Pardin numerically, the staff of the Blues called Rémi Desbonnets, porter from Nîmes, who arrived on Wednesday.
He does not land in unknown land.
“He did the end-of-year internships,” says Kieffer.
Whoever starts the game, I have a team of three goalkeepers every day.
A World Cup means nine matches if we go to the end.
It's not easy to play every other day.
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With this NBA rhythm, the physics are undermined.
The most intensive work is not however what one imagines: “Each match requires a considerable amount of work, specifies Kieffer.
The goalkeeper must know everything about his opponent.
For him, each balloon is a duel.
It is the one who takes the ascendancy first, as in chess.
You have to have character, and ours do.
The most important thing is to stay humble and positive.
These are qualities that make there have always been very good goalkeepers in the France team.
And we can still do better.