Special Envoy to Doha
Special Envoy to Doha
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The springboard or the ravine.
A start of drunkenness or deep sadness.
The deal is clear and totally binary for the French team before starting "
a new competition
", as Didier Deschamps has been harping on since the end of the first round.
Facing a Poland (4 p.m. Sunday, TF1, beIN Sports) well within their reach and which, without its goalkeeper (Wojciech Szczęsny) or its star striker (Robert Lewandowski), would really not look like much (1 victory, 1 draw and 1 defeat in the group stage, only two goals scored), the defending champions have no choice but to validate their ticket for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Without playing the ominous birds, an elimination, after the failure of the Euro, would brush aside the seductive first round glimpsed (let's forget the defeat against Tunisia conceded by a France B team) with the sketch of a team, the premises of a great collective strength and would above all cause XXL turbulence within the blue house.
Before a major cleaning.
Scenario that Kylian Mbappé and his partners do not think for a single second.
And they are right.
To oblivion the sinistrosis.
Make way for the optimism and confidence born of a well-negotiated group stage.
Read alsoWorld Cup: "I see the Blues pass easily", swears Luis Fernandez before France-Poland
26th FIFA nation, Poland should not scare the Blues
If Germany and Belgium, eliminated in the first round, have already joined Italy (not qualified in Qatar) in the fiasco camp, the French team intends to be respected on Sunday and overcome the first pitfall before thinking about England or Senegal (8 p.m., TF1, beIN Sports) in the quarter-finals.
Unlike the Euro, Deschamps and his staff know they are in different predispositions when approaching this meeting on the lawn of the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha, an enclosure that they will discover for the first time in this World Cup.
If the apprentice hairdressers were hard to see on Tuesday against Tunisia (1-0), this meeting made it possible to breathe the executives (LLoris, Rabiot, Griezmann, Mbappé, Girourd) and elements (Upamecano, Koundé, Hernandez,
Dembélé) whose pep and freshness will count against the Poles, 26th in the FIFA rankings, sandwiched between Sweden and Ukraine.
That is to say their level… relative.
Didier Deschamps GARETH BUMSTEAD / REUTERS
A little over a year ago, before the failure against Switzerland in the round of 16 at the Euro, the Blues had to whip to get out of a strong group (Portugal, Germany) and appeared washed out following the second game played under the dodger of Budapest against Hungary by more than 35 degrees.
In Qatar, the situation is different.
With bodies rested, cool heads and ideal group management, the excuse of physical condition and external elements will not be necessary on Sunday.
It is out of the question for the Poles to put the air conditioning on the defending champions…
Griezmann, Mbappé, Giroud, Rabiot, Dembélé, Hernandez... Put in the fridge to bring their freshness
Sign of a new competition, Didier Deschamps sent one of his best lieutenants to the front on Friday at a press conference: Antoine Griezmann (31 years old, 113 caps).
Anything but a coincidence when you know how much the 54-year-old technician anticipates, dissects and analyzes everything.
These famous details that cement a collective ambition.
Two days before the round of 16, the conductor of these Blues version 2022, delivered the good word.
Between depth and lightness, seriousness and self-mockery.
For a successful master hand exercise.
“I give everything for the jersey, France but also for Deschamps
, plants “Grizou”, who is preparing to play his 71st consecutive match – a record – with the selection on Sunday.
Every match, every action, it's like a thank you that I send him.
I want to try to do everything to make him proud of his number 7
Read also“I give everything for France and Deschamps”: Griezmann puts on a show at a press conference
A true declaration of love for a soldier who experienced the campaigns of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021 with "DD".
The French team will need it, just like a Kylian Mbappé on fire, a precise Olivier Giroud, a dominating midfielder and a solid defense around a Hugo Lloris who will equal Lilian Thuram in number of selections (142 each) in the Selection Hall of Fame.
But the collective story in Qatar only begins on Sunday.
The time of the brave has come.
Since 1930, all the courses of the Blues at the World Cups
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