The French team plays this Saturday 16th June its first match of the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Les Bleus go on the attack against Australia, an easy opponent.
Let’s go: Les Bleus start their World Cup 2018 matches in a few hours, Saturday (12 midday, Paris time) against Australia, with a young group, full of carelessness and ambitions, guided by the striker Antoine Griezmann .
Officially, the team of France, aims high for the tournament in Russia. But in the heads and cloakroom conversations, the French dream of a second world star, twenty years after the one won by the glorious former France 98, including the current coach Didier Deschamps.
“A competition like this one, you can not tell you that you’ll do better next time … For my part, it’s probably my last. So I want to realize my childhood dream and win it simply, “said the experienced Olivier Giroud ten days ago in an interview with AFP.
Before aiming for such heights, we will have to do the work against modest Australia, 36th in the Fifa standings and last in its pool, with three defeats at the previous World Cup in Brazil.
In other words, a poor performance against the “Socceroos” would be a huge disappointment for Deschamps’ men, against the weakest team in group C, which also includes Peru and Denmark, 11th and 12th at Fifa ranking.
‘The belly ball’
In front of the Australians, goalkeeper and captain of the French team Hugo Lloris expects a “fight” against a team behind. “The most important thing is the energy we release and the aggressiveness we will put on the field, in duels,” warned the most capped Blues, from the top of his 98 selections.
Lloris also warned the young French guard of the awakening that awaits them this Saturday, this mixture of “excitement” and “little ball in the stomach” that will accompany them until kickoff.
Because this match will be a first test for this band of young talents who now make up a good part of the France group. The coach Didier Deschamps, which some said were cautious a few years ago, has largely opened the door in recent months.
In his starting lineup against Australia, “DD” could thus prefer striker Ousmane Dembélé, 21, to Olivier Giroud, ten years older, in the middle to align Corentin Tolisso (23) rather than Blaise Matuidi (31). years), and on the sides give their chance to laterals Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, 44 years old …
“It’s not kids! “Wanted to reassure the president of the Federation Christmas Le Graët Wednesday. “Kylian Mbappé, is he 19 years old when he answers your questions? I’m not sure. ”
The performance of Mbappé will indeed be one of the attractions of the World. The young Parisian, who has continued to climb the ladder month after month, is now attacking the biggest competition. With in the back, the number 10 that he himself claimed from the French staff, the one that was before him Michel Platini or Zinedine Zidane.
To show the way to all these young wolves, the French team will need bosses, able to wake the troops in case of a hard blow.
On the bench, there will be Deschamps course, but it will take a relay on the lawns of Kazan, Moscow or Yekaterinburg. His “technical leader” is Antoine Griezmann, who is not a “barker”, but who knows how much he will be expected during this competition.
At Euro-2016, the Atletico Madrid striker finished as best player and top scorer in the tournament with six goals. For this World Cup, “I have the confidence of the teammates and coach, they expect that I bring the team as far as possible, I’m ready and quiet enough,” said the leader of the Blues. It starts Saturday by Australia.