To witness the start of a new era for the French team, all you had to do was show up at the Stade de France on Thursday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. In the amphitheater of the Dionysian enclosure, Kylian Mbappé faces the media on the eve of France-Netherlands (8:45 p.m., TF1).
For fifteen minutes of show.
The French football star, new captain of the selection following the international retirement of Hugo Lloris, aroused a certain interest for his first words in his costume as boss of the dressing room of the vice-world champions.
Light years away from the agreed discourse and under the control of his predecessor for more than 10 years, Bondy's crack has done... Mbappé.
Between smile and relaxation.
Lively flow without any language of wood.
It's a kiff to be captain of your country
, he plants straight away, happy as a kid.
I want to be unifying, unifying and turned towards others
And the best player in the world, according to Didier Deschamps, to reveal his style.
am the link between the new generation and the old, we want to go to the heights
, he points out, radiant.
I'm not going to do Hugo Lloris, but Kylian Mbappé
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Mbappé, a suitable link between old and new
The most individualistic collective sport, football remains despite everything a story of men and to reduce this France-Netherlands to the sole presence of Mbappé would be to disrespect the remains of the French troops.
Three months after the epic of Qatar at the painful end, the Blues, relieved of several executives (Lloris, Mandanda, Varane, Benzema) but with 18 Globalists in their ranks, set off again on a mission with the intention of validating their ticket for Euro 2024 (June 14-July 14).
Objective largely in their rope with regard to the relative level of the adversaries (Greece, Ireland, Gibraltar) in a hen which will offer the precious sesame to the first two.
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Only two players with more than 100 caps for the Blues
Flagship of French football in great suffering on the club side - OGC Nice, quarter-finalists of the Europa League Conference, is the only tricolor representative in the spring - and which is barely emerging from a crisis without precedent with the departure of the president of the FFF, Noël Le Graët, the selection with two stars must hold its rank.
In a Stade de France filled like an egg by 80,000 spectators eager to celebrate the unfortunate heroes of Doha, there is no shortage of curiosities.
How Mbappé and Griezmann, disappointed with his fate, will digest their new status?
What about Mike Maignan, inducted number one goalkeeper after the departure of Lloris?
What face for a French team made up of only 5 survivors of 2018 and two elements with more than 100 selections (Giroud, Griezmann) against Batavians victims of a virus and deprived of at least five major players?
In an evening where a tribute will be paid to new retirees, it will already be time to reactivate the forward march and surf on a positive collective dynamic.
Such is the life of the selection.
Chase the memories and already create a new story.
The French public is waiting for that.