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World Cup 2022: England, this enemy brother


They run, they run the English. This is the main characteristic of the Three Lions, an English selection which is preparing to challenge the French team, in Qatar, in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, this Saturday, December 10 (8 p.m.).

They run and they go fast, propelled by their lightning youth. Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford, who are among the fastest players in the English championship, make up this new athletic generation at work.

Around these young shoots revolves another generation, made up of experienced players. Kyle Walker (32) who, despite looking like a mover, is considered one of the most enduring right defenders on the circuit. Harry Maguire (29) who, after months of wandering with his Manchester United club, seems to be living again in selection. Striker Harry Kane (29), released from a weight after unlocking his counter against Senegal. Jordan Henderson (32), a sure bet in the midfield, and the “Box to Box” spirit, with English sauce.

Where the Belgians and the Germans have had difficulty mixing between the generations, the British coach Gareth Southgate has, it seems, succeeded in his mayonnaise. Like, moreover, his French counterpart Didier Deschamps.

“The reason I was given this job is because I have a good idea of ​​these players who are coming”confided the person concerned, about the rising stars of English football, a year after taking office in 2016. “You have to give them conviction and you have to give them time, whether it’s for me to take advantage of it or the next coach. » In the space of six years, 50 players owe him their first cap, of which thirteen are or were under 21 years old.

An unworthy track record

They also run after a title. The English dream of a new major trophy, which has eluded them since 1966 and a World Cup gleaned from home. An insult to a country that claims to be one of the founding pioneers of modern football. Judged as inconsistent, like the France team this past year, the English selection can however boast of having chained a semi-final in Russia, followed by a final lost during the last Euro. Two frustrating but possibly foundational steps.

They run, finally, after an English spirit. Several years have passed since the “Golden Boys” generation, embodied by Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard or David Beckham. A golden era but with a sadly virgin track record.

This time, the “Southgate Boys” want to demonstrate an irreproachable state of mind and wish to avoid the wrath of supporters, tired of seeing the selections of neighboring countries win titles under the nose and beard of their national team. They want to protect themselves, too, from the English humor, reputed to be spicy, that the tabloids reserve for them in the event of an abortive course.

“What makes the difference is the state of mind, the determination, the desire to learn and improve”, had judged the coach of the Three Lions, at the end of the victory against Senegal in the round of 16, as if to testify to a team which is maturing. ” It will be a big challenge and an awesome game to play, with a terrific historic rivalry that has produced some great games.”, believes the England coach. To aim for the stars, they will first have to fight against the Blues and their main weapon, Kylian Mbappé. Who, as everyone knows, runs fast, very fast, too.

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Between France and England, decades of sporting rivalries



Every year, it’s impossible for oval ball fans to skip this event. For more than a hundred years, the “Crunch“, the meeting between the French and the English between the rugby posts during the Six Nations Tournament, exacerbates the historic rivalry between the two countries separated by the Channel.

If in football the spirit of competition is not as lively, several confrontations between the two selections have taken place, in particular in the World Cup where the outcome has systematically been favorable to the “perfidious Albion”. While the France team is playing its place in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup against the “Three Lions”, a look back at some significant sporting encounters between French and English.

English winners of the duels in the Football World Cup

On Saturday, France will have the opportunity to cast out its demons and win its first match in the World Cup against the English neighbor. Twice, the Blues have lost in the past, each time during the group stages. The first time in 1966, with a score of 2-0, in London, in a World Cup where the English won their one and only star.

The second confrontation, in 1982 in Bilbao, ended in a 3-1 score in favor of the Three Lions. The French team, however better armed on paper with Michel Platini, Marius Trésor and Alain Giresse in its ranks, still does not manage to get the best of its historical rival.

1977, a rugby match that turns into a butcher’s shop

It’s been a century that French and English face each other in international football competitions. But their rivalry is sublime oval ball in hand. Sometimes to the point of degenerating. On February 19, 1977, the two teams faced each other in the English stadium of Twinckenham on the occasion of the Five Nations Tournament (Italy only joined in 2000).

This match remains without doubt one of the roughest on the European scene. Even before kick-off, the tone is set: the French are booed and are the target of spitting. Fouls rained down throughout the game. English newspapers occasionally rename the XV of France “the savage horde”. The Blues won with a narrow score of 4 to 3 (a try was worth 4 points at the time) and won the competition.

In 1991, “the test of the century”

If the “Crunch” of 1991 gave birth to an English victory (21-19), it is a French action that remains in the memories. Following a missed penalty, Frenchman Pierre Berbizier recovers the ball. Rather than flattening him in his in-goal, he alerts his captain Serge Blanco who rushes and passes the ball, which after two passes arrives in the hands of Didier Camberabero. He lobbed a defender and at the end of a dazzling acceleration sent a pass to the foot for Philippe Saint-André who only had to register the try between the posts, after an action of 110 meters. Even the English supporters applaud.

In total, French and English have been opposed 109 times during the Six Nations Tournament. The record remains in favor of the British: 60 wins against 42 and seven draws. Symbol of historical English domination: the Blues have not won a single match at Twickenham for fifteen years. The last victory dates back to 2005 when France, coached by Bernard Laporte, snatched a narrow victory, 18 to 17.

Euro 2004, Zidane changes the course of the match

On this Sunday, June 13, 2004, French footballers are on the verge of elimination. Led 1-0 against the English selection, the Blues are in a bad position, in stoppage time in the round of 16 of the European championship which took place that year in Lisbon.

A foul committed by the Three Lions at the entrance to the surface is about to change the course of the match. Zinédine Zidane, number 10 in the back, seizes the ball to take the free kick, which he places on the right of the goal, out of reach of David James. 1-1.

As both teams headed straight for extra time, an ill-fitting pass from Frank Lampard for his keeper was intercepted by Blues star striker Thierry Henry. The latter scored the winning goal in the last seconds of the match, reversing the course of a match that seemed to have escaped France. This will not prevent the defeat of the Blues in the quarter-finals against Greece, future winner of the tournament (1-0).

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2022 World Cup results: France and England will meet in the quarter-finals



► France wins against Poland (3-1) and goes to the quarter-finals

The holder is tenacious! France will challenge England in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup, after a controlled match against Poland (3-1) thanks to Olivier Giroud and a sumptuous double from Kylian Mbappé, Sunday December 4 in Doha.

This victory allowed Olivier Giroud to become the top scorer in French history with 52 goals, while Hugo Lloris equaled Lilian Thuram’s selection record (142).

“This World Cup is an obsession, it’s the competition of my dreams! »said Mbappé, in form, after his two goals against the Poles.

France will therefore find the Three Lions in the quarter-finals. Accustomed to these meetings at high altitude, the two European leaders now have six days to prepare for their confrontation which will take place next Saturday at the Al-Bayt stadium (8 p.m.).

There is now only one step left to take, on December 10, for the Blues to reach the goal of “last square” fixed by the boss of French football, Noël Le Graët, to his coach Didier Deschamps, whose contract runs until the end of the tournament.

► Senegal beaten, England already turned to France, “its biggest challenge”

England for its part curtly dismissed Senegal (3-0) with a first goal from Harry Kane on Sunday in the round of 16 of the World Cup, a success which opened the doors to the quarter-finals.

Deprived of Raheem Sterling, forfeited due to family problems and uncertain for the quarter-final, the English came out of their torpor and, on a smoothly led counter, Jude Bellingham, ideally launched by Kane, found Jordan Henderson in withdrawal who deceived Édouard Mendy (1-0, 38th).

Without relaxing their grip, the English drove home the point with a second achievement from their captain Harry Kane in added time in the first act, at the conclusion of a counter-attack initiated by Bellingham and relayed by Foden (2-0, 45th +3).

English domination then turned to demonstration in the 57th minute: a center from Foden on the left side found Saka who scored with a sharp left-footed recovery. What put a damper on the songs and percussion of the many Senegalese in the stands. But from the final whistle, the vice-champions of Europe in 2021 and semi-finalists of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, looked ahead and the “real test” who awaits them against France

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2022 World Cup results: England and USA through to round of 16



► The English lead Group B

England qualified for the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup by sweeping Wales 3-0 on Tuesday (November 29th) in Doha, Qatar. First in Group B, the English accelerated after a soporific first period and made the difference thanks to their attackers Marcus Rashford twice (50th, 68th) and Phil Foden (51st) against disappointing Welsh, like their star Gareth Bale.

The English finish top of the group, with seven points, after two victories, against the Iranians and the Welsh, and a draw, against the Americans. In the round of 16, the English will face Senegal, second in group A, on Sunday.

► The Americans take their revenge on the Iranians

The United States, beaten by Iran in 1998, took their revenge on Tuesday (1-0) in Group B of the World Cup-2022 thanks to Pulisic’s 22nd international goal, synonymous with his selection of the round of 16 against the Countries -Down and elimination for the “Team Melli”.

With five points, two more than their adversary at the end of an always special confrontation between two nations no longer maintaining diplomatic relations, the Americans have reached this level of competition for the 7th time, which continues to refuse Iranians.

Team USA, which did not qualify for the last World Cup in Russia, has already reached the round of 16 three times since the war (1994, 2010, 2014) and the quarter-finals once (2002). As they had announced, the 22 players ignored the tense political context, to focus on the sporting issue and deliver a committed match but played in an excellent state of mind.

Iran, which had to equalize to win its ticket for the next round, tried to pack the game. In the last minutes of the meeting, the “Team USA” was very hot on several Iranian attacks, but resisted until the end.