The flashes will crackle, the cars will follow one another at regular intervals, players will extricate themselves, waving a little with their hands, then climbing the steps of the castle. This immutable decorum will be respected this Friday, June 9, when 22 of the 23 internationals summoned by Didier Deschamps for the qualifying matches for Euro 2024 (June 14 - July 14) against Gibraltar, then Greece, on June 16 and 19, will take up their quarters in Clairefontaine around 12 noon before sharing a first lunch together. The staff, hard at work, from this Thursday, appreciates not having to deplore, for the moment, any physical glitch.
For several weeks already, Didier Deschamps had acted, in view of the rather disparate calendar of his internationals, to anticipate by three days the beginning of the gathering. The double elimination of AC Milan (Giroud, Théo Hernandez, Maignan) and Real Madrid (Ferland Mendy, Camavinga, Tchouaméni) in the semi-finals of the Champions League (final on June 10), allows him, thus, to dispose of almost everyone. Only Alphonse Areola, Wednesday's Europa League Conference winner with West Ham, was allowed to join his team-mates on Monday, June 12.
After finishing their championship since the weekend of May 27 and 28, the Blues operating in the Bundesliga (Coman, Upamecano, Pavard) and in the Premier League (Wesley Fofana and Konaté) have observed a maintenance program transmitted by the French staff. This included, in particular, stretching, running or weight training.
Change expected between the two matches
Christopher Nkunku and Randal Kolo Muani, concerned by the final of the German Cup, played on June 3 between Leipzig and Frankfurt (2-0), had stretched their season. On this occasion the first, already co-best director of the Bundesliga, had distinguished himself by opening the score and distilling an assist. Like the other players playing in France, Italy and Spain where the domestic competition ended on June 3 and 4, they were then able to benefit from a break of four or five days.
The resumption in Clairefontaine promises to be classic with on the menu a cycling session, a battery of physical tests, then of course collective training that will refine the eleven called to start against Gibraltar. Given the fatigue inherent in the late stage of the season, Deschamps will most likely make several changes between the two meetings spaced barely 72 hours apart.
The Blues will leave Clairefontaine on Thursday, June 15 for Faro in Portugal where the confrontation against Gibraltar will be held. The Football Federation of the Spanish enclave (GFA) announced on 13 October 2022 that its selection would play its qualifying matches at the Algarve Stadium (30,335 seats). This choice is due to the end of a special authorization issued by UEFA allowing it, until then, to receive in its obsolete Victoria Stadium.
The France currently occupies the top of its group after its successes over the Netherlands (4-0) and Ireland (1-0) in March.
The list of 23
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan, Brice Samba.
Defenders: Axel Disasi, Wesley Fofana, Théo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Ferland Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano.
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni.
Forwards: Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Randal Kolo Muani, Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Thuram, Christopher Nkunku.