A huge page of the France team turned on Monday evening with the announcement, by the main party, of the retirement of Hugo Lloris.
At 36, the Tottenham goalkeeper "
prefers to go out being at the highest
", without "
waiting for the moment when (he) starts to do less
But the record holder for selections in Blue (145) will leave a huge void, especially in terms of leadership in the locker room.
Naturally calm and discreet, the Niçois had however been able to establish himself over time as a formidable captain in the locker room, wearing the armband 121 times.
A record, there too, not close to being equaled or exceeded.
With his retirement inevitably arises the question of his successor.
With, a priori, few legitimate candidates...
Raphaël Varane, the natural heir
What decision would appear more logical than to appoint the vice-captain at the last World Cup in Qatar as successor to Hugo Lloris?
All the more so when he is in the prime of his life – 29 years old – when he remains very efficient in the field, when he has already worn the armband 18 times and when he symbolizes, by his character, a form of continuity with its predecessor.
Raphaël Varane, since it is him in question, is a huge favorite on paper.
Especially since he enjoys the total confidence of Didier Deschamps, who had done everything to ensure that he was present in Qatar despite a right thigh injury before the competition.
The only downsides concerning him, his physical fragility and the strong competition for his position with the emergence, in particular,
of Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konaté, without forgetting Presnel Kimpembe.
Which would tend to say that as long as he is essential on the sporting level, the central defender of Manchester United should be the captain of the Blues.
But if his status as a holder were to crumble…
Kylian Mbappé, the symbol of a new wind
Follower of precocity records, Kylian Mbappé already knows that one will escape him, at least.
Indeed, at 24, it is too late for the Paris SG striker to become the youngest captain of the France team, an honor that will continue to go to Hugo Lloris, who wore the armband for the first time. at the age of 23 on November 17, 2010. On the sporting level, the author of the hat-trick in the final of the last World Cup against Argentina (3-3, 2 shots on goal successful to 4) is an essential leader.
But in group life, its influence and role remain more uncertain.
Even if, in Qatar, Antoine Griezmann had confided about him: “
Kylian, in 2018, was not the same player, he did not have the same personality.
We see him a lot more in the group, in training, he talks a lot, he brings joy to life.
Less individualistic, more collective, in short.
But is he enough to take on the responsibilities of a captain?
And above all, does he really need to wear this armband, he who should hardly taste the repetitive exercise of pre-match press conferences?
Like other gondola heads in other disciplines, such as Tony Parker in basketball or Nikola Karabatic in handball, making him a captain does not seem essential.
Except for Didier Deschamps wanting to send a very strong signal about the emergence of a new generation in Blue...
Antoine Griezmann, the reward of a faithful
At 31, Antoine Griezmann took on a new dimension within the France group during the World Cup in Qatar.
Mainly in the game, with this new role of free spirit in the midfield, or handyman (well) to do, both in recovering the ball and in its use.
Because outside, the Atlético Madrid player has for several years taken on his responsibilities as a leader in the locker room, while being careful not to do too much.
Thus, he is not the one who speaks the loudest, nor the one who rounds up the troops, but his good understanding with the vast majority of his partners, his jovial character and his experience make him a possible captain.
A role that he has already taken on once in Blue.
And then his relationship with Didier Deschamps is more than good.
Out of the three aforementioned players, it is difficult to imagine another really credible candidate.
At 37 and with the withdrawal of Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda could have his supporters since he has already worn the armband twice.
Except that he is at best a replacement for Mike Maignan when he is restored, and nothing says that he will continue very far from his adventure in Blue.
Ditto for Olivier Giroud and his 36 springs on the clock.
Paul Pogba has many other problems to solve than asking himself the question of becoming captain of the France team, which he will first have to find at 100% of his means.
An observation also valid for Presnel Kimpembe, who must already try to keep his place as holder.
Finally, due to his history in selection and his character, Adrien Rabiot does not