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The qualified Blues, a good atmosphere



Everything is fine. It is said in all tones on the side of the Blues in Qatar, and even better since the victory against Denmark on Saturday November 26 (2-1), synonymous with qualification for the round of 16 of the World Cup. As in 2014 in Brazil and in 2018 in Russia, Didier Deschamps will therefore be able to manage the last group meeting against Tunisia, Wednesday, November 30. A luxury and a relief, as the headwinds seemed to be blowing on this French team before the start of the competition.

The defections of each other and the concerns that resulted from them are visibly forgotten. The defense, destabilized by Presnel Kimpembe’s last-minute package and Lucas Hernandez’s entry injury? It still seems perfectible, but offers reasons for satisfaction: the return of Raphaël Varane as a solid vice-captain, his association in central defense with a remarkable Dayot Upamecano, and a Jules Koundé who advantageously replaces an overly floating Benjamin Pavard.

A remarkable offensive animation

The midfielder completely redesigned because of the packages of the cadors Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté? Aurélien Tchouaméni in a strictly defined role in withdrawal, Adrien Rabiot allowed him to project himself forward, and Antoine Griezmann, with a staggering volume of play and an ease in moving from strategist with a baton to starving defender, define an effective trio, able to remove all fears.

As for the offensive animation in the absence of the golden ball Karim Benzema, it works perhaps more than ever. Olivier Giroud knows his pivotal role by heart, even if, after his double against Australia, he played a more sluggish score against Denmark. Ousmane Dembélé, once rather disappointing in the blue jersey, turns out to be twirling on his right wing, without sacrificing his defensive withdrawal, a welcome novelty. And Kylian Mbappé remains Kylian Mbappé, down for half time against Denmark, before blasting the opponent with two of his usual strokes of genius. “Kylian is not going to speak too much, it’s not his thing, but what he does is a locomotive”, commented Didier Deschamps after the duel against the Scandinavians.

“A collective force emerges”

A leader in his own way and guys in unison: the coach of the Blues perhaps has a collective built for adventure, singular but efficient. Who “lives well” as the well-verified cliché formula wants. “We are not going to ignite but it is very good what we are doing so farDidier Deschamps still congratulated himself. There is a collective strength that emerges outside, and on the ground it can also be seen. We’ll need that for what lies ahead. »

” That “it’s a team that looks as good in its cleats as Saturday night reacted Antoine Griezmann, post-match Zébulon, big smile and joker by bringing out his “Long live France, long live the Republic!” » of 2018 before the final against Croatia. They are also players who can linger with their families in the stands after the match, when the entourage yesterday was not so early invited to the Blues. Finally, it’s a group that quickly turned the page of pre-competition misfortunes to fully project themselves there, with their new but well-established balances. Ousmane Dembélé atmosphere as always, Olivier Giroud can continue his quest for a goalscoring record, Antoine Griezmann thrive in everything and Kylian Mbappé also play the saviors of the fatherland, which suits him perfectly. And the young novices, in all this, are delighted to write their own story.

The group is moving forward with confidence when, on the contrary, it withered away as the Euros progressed in 2021. Which does not mean that it will go beyond the stage of the round of 16, end of the game (against Switzerland ) disappointing from the previous big meeting of the Blues. But, clearly, something is taking shape. “This group is strong, solid, and wants to do great things”, still assures Didier Deschamps. After two games and many concerns, who would not have signed to be there?

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