World Cup 2022: Hervé Renard, coach elsewhere

He doesn’t add any. Or not often. Weighed words, clear eyes, always dressed to the nines, he likes to take care of his appearance. Those who judge by appearance quickly deduce a bling-bling side, when not really. Hervé Renard is not just about his white shirt, his tanned complexion, fifty-something handsome and then there you go. At 54, the coach of the Saudi Arabian team has no more desire to change than to justify himself to the distributors of good and bad points.

He just savors, for three days, the good trick he has just played with his men to all those who had absolutely not calculated them in this World Cup in Qatar. The surprise victory against Argentina on Tuesday, November 22 (2-1) is a coup immediately celebrated in the kingdom by a public holiday the next day, proclaimed by the king at the request of Prince Mohammed Ben Salman. A whole people rejoiced, and that is ultimately what matters most to Hervé Renard. Helping to offer this joy is not the first time he has done it. Starting from very far away.

Heartbreak for Africa

Because the career of Hervé Renard takes side roads rather than the expressway. Thanks to a phone call, one fine morning in 2001. On the phone, Claude Le Roy, a wandering coach who likes long-term challenges by jumping from one country to another, winner of the African Cup nations with Cameroon in 1988. This time, Claude Le Roy is looking for an assistant to lead a Chinese club near Shanghai. Former modest player, who spent two years as a coach in the honor division (sixth national level), Hervé Renard, 30, says banco.

“I immediately felt a good guy, shy at the time but curious, breathing authenticity”, tells us Claude Le Roy. The tandem will live several experiences for a few years, in Great Britain, but especially in Ghana with the national selection for the African Cup of Nations in 2008. The “Black Stars” finish third in the competition, and Hervé Renard catches the Africa virus. “I realized that he had plenty of capacity to become number one, resumes Claude Le Roy, and as the president of the federation of Zambia was looking for a coach for his team, I advised him to take Hervé. »

Hervé Renard is always grateful to his mentor for this short scale, still evoking Claude Le Roy as his ” guide “. Things are going rather well in Zambia. A quarter-final at CAN 2010, and above all, after a forgettable six-month parenthesis in Angola, a resounding victory at CAN 2012, on penalties against Côte d’Ivoire. A first for the small African nation. Hervé Renard’s reputation grew, and even more so when, in 2015, he finally led Côte d’Ivoire to continental victory for a CAN hoped for over twenty years.

Openness and tolerance

Two CAN with two different teams, no other coach can boast of such a double. “The student has surpassed his teachersmiles Claude Le Roy. Because he is a real trainer, very demanding with others but also with himself, hardworking and who knows how to adapt to people and different cultures. And that, the players feel and appreciate it. » Hervé Renard is also keen on it, on his experiences abroad. “You always have to know that there are other places, other ways of living, not just our ownhe recently confided to the daily The Team. It takes tolerance when you travel. It shaped me as a man. »

In France, his attempts in Ligue 1 never lasted, a few months in Sochaux in 2013, then in Lille in 2015. The selections, more than the clubs, suit him better. With Morocco, at the 2018 World Cup, he did not go far from a small feat, standing up to Portugal (1-0) and Spain, which snatched a draw at the last minute (2-2). With Saudi Arabia, which he has been preparing for since 2019, he proves that he is not only successful in Africa. And it is indeed the Asia zone that he hastened to defend after the victory against Argentina, regretting “the somewhat nasty reviews” against the Qatar team after their opening game, or “things that can be hurtful” for Iran, crushed 6-2 by England.

“Open and understand others” has become his leitmotif. Last May, he signed an extension of his contract until 2027 with Saudi Arabia. “He is very happy with his life in Riyadh, with his wife and children,” assures Claude Le Roy, who congratulated him on the phone on his start to the World Cup. Desert fox? If Saudi Arabia passes the first round, definitely.



Portugal-Uruguay at the World Cup: who is Marco Ferri, who entered the field with a rainbow flag?

The return of Mario Ferri. Nicknamed “El Falco” (the falcon), this Italian is very famous in his country of origin for his stunts on the football pitch. He could not resist entering the scene at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, during which he burst onto the lawn during the match between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday, November 28.

On this occasion, he multiplied political messages, waving the rainbow flag, symbol of the LGBT + community, and displaying messages of support for Ukraine and Iranian women on his emblematic Superman t-shirt.

Mario Ferri, Chief Intruder

Mario Ferri has been refining his art for fifteen years. In 2014, during the Brazilian World Cup, he interrupted the match between the United States and Belgium with a t-shirt calling this time to save poor children from the favelas.

During the previous edition in South Africa, he entered the pitch during the semi-final between Germany and Spain. “I had taken the accreditation of a photographer to enter the lawn”, he explained at the time.

For now, it is still unclear whether or not the Italian will be punished for his stunt in Qatar. After crossing the field twice, he was stopped and escorted out by security. In this small Gulf country, homosexuality is subject to criminal prosecution, and the ruling absolute monarchy has come under heavy criticism for its treatment of the LGBT+ minority.

Trouble with the law

On the other hand, Marco Ferri has already had trouble with the law in another Gulf country, the United Arab Emirates. He entered the field in the final of the Club World Cup in 2010, disputed by Inter Milan and Tout Puissant Mazembe, a Congolese club based in Lubumbashi. He had tried to escape from Abu Dhabi on a cruise ship before being arrested by the police. “I spent a day bound hands and feet”he had revealed following his misadventure.

World Cup 2022: matches and results for Monday November 28

His run-ins with the law are not limited to his intrusions on the ground, however, since he had filmed himself during a chase with the police in the Italian city of Pescara at the time of the first confinement. “I needed to stretch my legs,” he justified himself in stride.

If the Italian often takes advantage of his moments of glory on the ground to convey political messages, he also finds a personal interest there. These have indeed brought work and fame. Positive things, especially at the economic level. Now I’m someone in life, I organize events and parties, I own a restaurant»he explained in 2012.



2022 World Cup, the breakthrough of “small” nations

There had to be a surprise guest in the rollercoaster of a world party in Qatar that was already quite upside down. The Japanese had tried to get on board, Monday, December 5, by pushing the Croats on penalties, but the vice-world champions finally imposed themselves on the wire (1-1 after extra time, then 3-1 on penalties aim). It was therefore the Moroccans, this Tuesday, December 6, who finally got on the train of great thrills, leaving the Spaniards in disbelief, unable to honor their status as favorites (0-0 then 3-0).

The five continents in the round of 16, a first

Morocco maintains its historic performance, qualified for the first time in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup, the fourth African team to reach this level after Cameroon (in 1990), Senegal (in 2002) and Ghana (in 2010 ). A great reward for coach Walid Regragui, who in just a few months has been able to unite a group of talented players, and the result of in-depth work carried out by Morocco in recent years.

In any case, the Atlas Lions disturb the usual banquet of European and South American ogres, and this is not so frequent. Since 1998 and the transition to 32 nations in the World Cup, and before 48 selections compete for the title from 2026, unexpected teams in the quarterfinals have not been legion: Costa Rica in 2014, Ghana in 2010, South Korea, the United States and Senegal in 2002, the most shocking World Cup of the period for the hierarchy of the round ball.

Morocco confirms this time a trend discernible from the end of the group stage in Qatar. For the first time, the round of 16 of the planetary competition included representatives from the five continents. For the Asian Football Confederation, another first: the presence of three countries (Japan, South Korea and Australia). They were only two in 2002 and 2010. The African Football Confederation, by winning two places in the top 16, equals 2014 (Algeria and Nigeria). But in Brazil, the five African teams in the group stage had only recorded a total of 12 points. In Qatar, they have 24 points, a record.

Really complete teams

Morocco first in its group? This had never happened to an African or Arab team. Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina (2-1), Japan falling Germany and Spain (2-1 both times), Morocco still extinguishing Belgium (2-0), Tunisia, Cameroon and South Korea winning against the B teams of France, Brazil and Portugal… examples abound of thunder claps in the Qatari sky.

“There are more and more countries capable of competing at the highest level”, welcomed the former coach Arsene Wenger, now director of development of the International Football Federation (Fifa), presenting on December 4 a first sports progress report for the World Cup. “This is due to an improvement in the adversary’s preparation and analytical capacity, two phenomena that reflect a more homogeneous access to technological tools”, added the technician.

Arsène Wenger provides FIFA’s after-sales service there, which promotes data analysis tools that it is gradually making available to improve the technical expertise of many nations. But beyond the actions of the international federation, the rise in power is explained first of all by the improvement of training in many countries which are also gradually structuring their championships. Japan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia are advancing on this path which is no longer paved with good intentions. The players then go harden up in the best European championships. The Japanese Blue Samurai have thus benefited from 8 players playing in Germany, 3 in France, 2 in Spain and 2 in England. On the Moroccan side, 5 Lions are roaring in France, 4 in Spain, 4 in England and 3 in Italy.

It is no longer a few rare individuals who stand out. More and more nations have a real bench depth. For Japan as for Morocco, the entry into play of effective substitutes was often decisive. “There are no more small teams”, we have long heard. It was released with a paternalistic half-smile. Now it’s serious.



World Cup 2022: Portugal crushes Switzerland and joins Morocco in the quarter-finals

In a state of grace: Portugal qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday December 6 by sweeping Switzerland 6-1, without their star Cristiano Ronaldo, who entered only at the end of the match, but with a hat-trick from the substitute of “CR7”Goncalo Ramos.

The Seleçao, which had not reached this stage of the competition since 2006, will meet Morocco on Saturday December 10 (at 4:00 p.m.) as favorites. A little earlier, the “Atlas Lions” they created the sensation by eliminating Spain on penalties (0-0, 3 pens to 0).

Why did you leave Ronaldo on the bench? “I already talked about it. These issues are resolved, they are in the past”, swept away coach Fernando Santos in a post-match press conference. On Monday, he explained that he had “not liked at all” the gesture of humor of his star player during his substitution in the 65th minute against South Korea in the group stage (2-1 defeat).

The important thing: the collective

The Portuguese star, who is most likely playing his last World Cup at 37, finally came into play in the 74th minute, finding his armband to the ovations of an audience who had been chanting his name for fifteen minutes.

But the score was already 5-1 and the five-time Ballon d’Or goal in the 84th minute was ruled out for an offside position. He will still have to wait to score in a World Cup knockout match.

Ramos’ hat-trick

When the cat is not there, the mice dance and Ramos, who had played in all and for all only 33 minutes in selection before this evening, including twenty minutes in a friendly, took the opportunity to reveal himself in broad daylight. “I never dreamed of an event like tonight, never thought of starting and scoring three goals in my first match, I just wanted to play”he confided then.

The center forward at Benfica Lisbon did much better than that: at 21, he entered the elite of hat-trick authors in a World Cup, alongside giants like Pelé, Gerd Müller or Just Fontaine. He is even the youngest author of a hat-trick in a knockout match since Pelé in 1958.



World Cup 2022: Morocco eliminates Spain and goes to the quarter-finals

History at the end of the suspense: Morocco surprised Spain on penalties (0-0, 3 penalties to 0) Tuesday, December 6 in the 2022 World Cup, and rallies for the first time the quarters of final of the competition. With a sumptuous panenka, Achraf Hakimi, who was born and raised in the southern suburbs of Madrid, concluded the superb performance of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who has played for ten years in Spain and who was impassable during the penalty shoot-out at the aim.

The Atlas Lions had never reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup. Before Monday, their best result in football’s premier competition was in 1986, when they reached the round of 16. Last African selection still in the running, Morocco will have the opportunity to join the last four on Saturday (4:00 p.m.) against Portugal or Switzerland, who face each other on Tuesday evening (8:00 p.m.).

A sterile Spanish base on the game

At the Education City Stadium in Doha, the long-awaited opposition in style took place between Spain, their short passing game, and Morocco, their counterattacks and their victories based on an excellent defense, the best of the tournament (a only goal conceded). And in this game, it is the style of play of the Atlas Lions which has long seemed the most capable of winning his team, in front of the Moroccan supporters, who are much more numerous than those of Spain.

“They have 70% possession on average, even having faced Germany or Francehad also analyzed before the match Walid Regragui, the coach of Morocco. Possession, they will have it, we have to accept it. But Japan won (against Spain, 2-1) with 17% possession, and won with 20% possession against Germany (2-1). »

On Tuesday, La Roja had possession, in the proportions predicted by Regragui, but did not manage to break the Moroccan lock, often losing themselves in sequences of long possessions and side passes. Worse, Spain only scored two shots, one less than the Moroccans, before the penalty shootout, a lottery they would have liked to avoid.

Second early elimination at Worlds

For La Roja, history repeats itself: the 2010 world champions had already been knocked out by a team within their reach, Russia, at the 2018 World Cup. The Spanish coach Luis Enrique had however foreseen this scenario by asking his players to prepare for the exercise. “They had to arrive with at least a thousand penalties taken with their clubsEnrique explained at a press conference on Monday. There will surely be a knockout match where we will have to go through a penalty shootout. » Enrique had also displayed his confidence in his “three very good goalkeepers”including the titular Unai Simon.

But it was Bounou, the goalkeeper of Sevilla FC, who took the light at the end of the match, stopping two shots on goal, from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets, while that of Pablo Sarabia had hit the post.

He confirmed what seems obvious after the fight won against Spain: Morocco has the best defense in the competition, which no opposing player has yet deceived. Only the central defender Nayef Aguerd deceived, despite himself, his goalkeeper against Canada (2-1). The attackers of Portugal and Switzerland are warned.



Olympic Games 2024: kick-off of the long-distance race for the purchase of tickets

The most famous of international sports competitions, which will take place in Paris in the summer of 2024, opens its ticket office on Thursday 1 December. For nearly three weeks, spectators from all over the world will be able to watch the events of 28 Olympic sports, such as athletics, badminton, cycling, gymnastics, diving and even taekwondo. Disciplines to which will be added four new sports: break dancing, climbing, skateboarding and surfing. To have a chance of getting a ticket, however, you will need to be patient and lucky.

“Tailor-made” packages

The purchase of tickets for the competitions will be done in two distinct phases. The first, which opens this Thursday, December 1, concerns the purchase of “tailor-made packages”, that is to say the choice of three sessions among all the sports on the Olympic program… except for surfing in Tahiti, which has no ticket office. To do this, you will first need to register for a draw on the official ticketing website, by creating an account, from December 1 to January 31.

The results of the draw, communicated in mid-February, will allocate purchase slots to the lucky winners, who will then have 48 hours to make their choices. They will be able to purchase a maximum of 30 tickets per account. The members of the “Club Paris 2024” will benefit from the slots for the first four days, from February 15 to 19, while the rest of the public drawn by lot will be allocated slots from February 19.

Registration for individual tickets in March

However, not all tickets will be available when they open. Some events, the most anticipated such as the 100m finals in swimming or athletics, or those of basketball, handball, badminton or even boxing and tennis, will not be on sale during this first phase. As for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games, it will be necessary to wait for the second phase of purchase, that of individual tickets, also subject to the draw, to be able to acquire tickets.

This second phase of purchase, for individual tickets, will begin “during March 2023”the date still to be specified by Paris 2024. The result of this second draw will be known at the beginning of May and the sale of tickets for eligible persons will open in May 2023.

Half of the tickets at “50 € and less”

The promise of “Games accessible to all”, as the boss of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (Cojo), Tony Estanguet, has often repeated, will result in a first entry price of €72 for a pack of three sessions (i.e. €24 per ticket). For the wealthiest, the most expensive pack will amount to €1,150.

“Half of the tickets put on sale will be for €50 or less, that’s very important to us”, recalled the canoe champion on Monday during a presentation press conference. Nearly 100,000 tickets will also be financed by the Cojo for the benefit of the public “who is not lucky enough to be able” afford it, assured Tony Estanguet. Buyers will also have the option to donate a ticket while shopping.

For those who have not had the chance to be drawn, a last possibility will be offered at the end of 2023 to try to come to the sites of the Olympic Games, with a final phase of unit sales. In total, nearly 10 million tickets are on sale to attend the event, which will take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.



2022 World Cup results: Senegal and the Netherlands qualified for the round of 16

Senegal and the Netherlands qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup on Tuesday (November 29th). The Dutch finished top of this group A (seven points), with two wins, against Senegal and Qatar, and a draw against Ecuador, while the African champions finished with six points, two wins, against Qatar and Ecuador, and a defeat against the Netherlands.

The Netherlands will open the ball for the round of 16 on Saturday at 4 p.m. French time against the second in group B, either England, Iran, the United States or Wales depending on the results of the matches. of this Tuesday. Senegal, African champion, will face the first of this same group B, Sunday at 8 p.m. French time.

► Senegal dispossesses Ecuador of its ticket for the eighth

Senegal recorded its second victory (2-1) in Group A of the 2022 World Cup against Ecuador on Tuesday, November 29, thus qualifying for the round of 16 in front of long-waiting South Americans.

As a tribute, this second ticket in the history of Senegal in a knockout match is confirmed two years to the day after the death of Pape Bouba Diop, defensive midfielder hero of the 2002 World Cup, during which the Lions had reached the quarter-finals.

Beaten in the opening match by the Netherlands, their distant heirs are not there yet. But with six points in pool, they improved their best passing time by one unit. Even deprived of Sadio Mané, their best injured player in Qatar.

► The Netherlands qualify by inflicting their third defeat in Qatar

Without stress or glitter, the Netherlands qualified at a slow trot for the round of 16, in first place in group A, by winning at the Al-Bayt stadium 2-0 against Qatar, who said goodbye in his tournament on a zero point.

The Dutch, put into orbit in the first period by the now inevitable Cody Gakpo, will face the second in group B on Saturday at 6 p.m. and will be accompanied in the next round by Senegal.

For the “Al-Anabi” (the “Bordeaux”), it’s a complete failure. Before the small Gulf emirate, only one of the host countries of the World Cup had been eliminated at the end of the group stage: South Africa in 2010, after a course however more honorable. Qatar is the first host country to lose its three group matches.



World Cup 2022: serious things begin for France against Poland

Kylian Mbappé’s France, crowned in 2018, comes up against Robert Lewandowski’s Poland and the pressure of a first knockout match, Sunday December 4 at 4 p.m. in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup. The winner will challenge the survivor of a duel between England and Senegal.

“The team is aware of the event, of entering a new phase of this competition. If you win, you give yourself the right to stay, if you lose, you go home”, summarized captain Hugo Lloris, at the head of a talented selection, renewed and stretched towards the possibility of a historic double. In the post-war period, no team has held onto the World Cup throne since Pelé’s Brazil in 1962.

During the group stage, the defending champions dominated Australia (4-1) and Denmark (2-1) with composure, the holders almost all blew against Tunisia (1-0 defeat) and they arrive with light legs against the Poles blunted by three hung matches.

Erase Euro defeat to Switzerland

“The lights are green”the “talent” is there, be careful however not to bend under the weight of the event, recalls Lloris. “From now on, the mind is a very important factor”, warns the goalkeeper of Tottenham, brought to equal Sunday the 142 selections of Lilian Thuram, record of the team of France. At this level, any lack of concentration is eliminatory and the French paid the price, in the round of 16 of the Euro in 2021, wasting a two-goal lead in the last quarter of an hour against Switzerland (3-3 , 5-4 tabs).

France-Poland is a very rare poster in the World Cup, the two nations having met only once, in 1982: Boniek’s Poland then dominated France’s Tigana (3-2) and finished third of the competition. A feat that it has not managed to reproduce since, since the Polish selection has not passed the first round since 1986. In sixteen confrontations in total, the Blues lead widely, by eight victories to three.

A goalkeeper in great shape

To thwart the Blues, the main Polish asset is a goalkeeper and is called Wojciech Szczesny. The bulwark of Juventus played a major role in the qualification of his team by stopping two penalties in the group stage, including one against the Argentinian Lionel Messi. The survival of Bialo Czerwoni (“White and Red”) is more about the performance of the doorman than the flashes of Robert Lewandowski, his attacking star, too lonely to shine.

“Lewandowski can make a difference at any time” but “It remains a collective, a team that takes great pleasure in defending and suffering”noted Lloris, even if “Lewy”top scorer in Europe for the past two seasons, is struggling to weigh in this World Cup.



World Cup 2022: in the French team, beware of Mbappé dependency

At nightfall this Sunday, December 4, at the end of the convincing victory of the French team against Poland (3-1), the cameras and microphones rush on Olivier Giroud. The French player has just made history. By scoring the first of three goals that qualified France for the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the AC Milan striker became, with 52 goals, the top scorer in history in the tricolor jersey, dethroning Thierry Henry.

But very quickly another event attracts the spotlight. Kylian Mbappé is preparing to speak for the first time since the start of the competition. During the post-match press conference, the latter first returned to the causes of his silence. IThere were a lot of questions around the fact that I didn’t express myself. To the journalists who are there, it was nothing personal, I have nothing against journalists. It’s just that I always have this need to focus on the competition.” he explained.

Global “Sound”

He took it well, the Bondy prodigy literally flies over the start of the competition, without the sound of his voice being heard. Like a man on a mission. “When I want to focus on something, I need to do it 100%, not waste energy elsewhere,” justifies the star. Learning that the French Football Federation (FFF) would be forced to pay a fine because his player did not show up at post-match press conferences, Kylian Mbappé said he wanted to pay himself. Nothing and no one will divert from his goals the one who, author of a sumptuous double against Poland, has settled alone at the top of the scorer rankings of this World Cup.

The victory in the round of 16 was largely due to the talent of the Paris Saint-Germain striker. As was the success against Argentina at the same stage of the competition four years ago in Russia. Mbappé knows how to seduce the football world, he strikes at the right time, in the right place. The one who never hid from wanting “win everything” gives itself the means. “This World Cup is an obsession, it’s the competition of my dreams”, repeated the player, in a press conference, explaining that he built his season for this mission, “whether physically or mentally”.

Platini, Zidane… and Mbappé?

The determination has never seemed so strong in Kylian Mbappé, at the top of his game. But there is a downside to this medal: the dependence he creates in the France team.

As in 1986 with Michel Platini or in 2006 with Zinedine Zidane, the Blues put their destiny back between the feet of their number 10. Kylian has the ability to solve many problems, good for us”, did not fail to greet his coach Didier Deschamps, recognizing the hopes carried by his star. His Polish counterpart, Czeslaw Michniewicz, can only agree: There is no magic recipe to stop Mbappé, he is a fantastic player. »

Its captain, Hugo Lloris, did not say anything else after the victory against the Poles: “Kylian, we say it, we repeat it, difficult to find your limits on a match like today. He scored two extraordinary goals. This is a major asset for our team. (…) The more we advance in the competition, the more we know that we can count on him”, explains the goalkeeper.

Concretely, on the field, all the players of the France team are organized to serve their striker. Antoine Griezmann, strongman of Euro 2016 and attack leader at the last World Cup, now shares set pieces with the PSG striker. The playmaker even accepted a role further back from the attack, in the position of torchbearer alongside Adrien Rabiot, to serve him better. Behind Mbappé, Théo Hernandez multiplies the races to bring his offensive support to number 10, while tackling the defensive tasks, somewhat neglected by the latter.

An absence of Mbappé would not only deprive the Blues of his talent, but would destabilize an entire collective organization. To aim further, the staff of the France team will therefore have to take care of its main artificer. Watch out for the slightest risk of injury. Protect him from pressure, even if he seems ready to assume his responsibilities. Against England, Saturday December 10, and with his lightning youth, Kylian Mbappé will be keen to show that he is, at present, the best player in the world. Nothing less.


Crazy statistics

After his double against Poland, Kylian Mbappé can boast of having already scored nine goals in the World Cup, in two editions (2018 and 2022). At the same age, just 23, no one on the planet has ever done better.

In Les Bleus history, only Just Fontaine has scored more World Cup goals (13 goals, during the 1958 edition in Sweden).

Mbappé at the same time became the seventh top scorer in the history of the France team, with 33 goals in 63 caps, two more than Zinedine Zidane.

With an average of more than 0.5 goals per game, he exceeds the already impressive ratio of David Trezeguet (34 goals in 71 games).



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