Team France, overcome the curse

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Because it has become a constant. Since 2010, the reigning world champion has been systematically eliminated in the first round. This was the case of Italy in South Africa, of Spain four years later in Brazil and of Germany during the previous edition in Russia. Before France this fall? Sacra in Moscow on 15 July 2018 against Croatia (4-2), the Blues say they are ready to take up the challenge. Favorites for the final victory, Didier Deschamps’ men are also in a group D that they know by heart.

As in Russia, the reigning champions will begin their competition with a confrontation with Australia. That same Australia that had given Antoine Griezmann and his band a hard time on the side of Kazan, where technology had actually given great applause to future winners (2-1). Two games later, the entire planet fell asleep before the duel against Denmark (0-0). Scandinavians that the Blues find for the umpteenth time in international competitions. Strongly awaited by Danes, Australians but also Tunisians, the companions of Kylian Mbappé measure the difficulty of winning the second consecutive title. But the challenge is necessarily attractive. To increase it, it claims the same outfit shown in 2018. What the tricolor army, winner of the League of Nations a year ago, has lost a little since then. Because if Didier Deschamps can count on his offensive stars, defensive generosity and tactical trial and error could cost him dearly. To the point of taking the door in the first round?

The star: Karim Benzema

Together with Kylian Mbappé in particular, the Real Madrid star composes the most impressive attack of the tournament. Absent in 2018, the center forward has a revenge to take and the desire to show off his Ballon d’Or status in the eyes of the whole world. In short: for his last World Cup, the former Lyonnais hopes to score goals and in a good mood.

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The promise: Ibrahima Konaté

Ibrahima KonatePhoto credit – Icon Sport

The colossus. Called in as a reinforcement last June to make up for Raphaël Varane’s package, the 23-year-old defender was honored for his good season on the banks of the Mersey. Solid, always well placed and valuable for the revival, the former Sochalien continues to cross the levels. The future of France, of course.

Coach: Didier Deschamps

Fourth World Cup for the French coach. The third as a coach. A member of the small and legendary circle of footballers who have won the competition as player and coach – such as Franz Beckenbauer and Mário Zagallo -, the Basque player knows he is eagerly awaited with his ranks. Not necessarily to displease the head of the world champions, passionate about challenges. Even the tallest.

Legend: Zinedine Zidane

The boss. Worthy heir to Michel Platini in the position of number 10, the son of Castellane assumes the status of him. Having moved to clubs from Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid, “Zizou” leads the nation to the top of the world and Europe in 1998 and 2000, before coming close to a second world title in 2006. Panenka, helmet shots, the his three successes in the final entered the pantheon of French football.

The eye of the expert: Zahir Oussadi (director of Onze Mondial)

“On paper, France has the best squad of the 32 participants in the World Cup. In all lines, we find what is best in Europe as the offensive duo Benzema-Mbappé that the whole planet envies us. Due to their status as world champions, the Blues will be expected in turn from the other selections. We all have in mind the curse that hits the champion in charge from the first round of the next edition. Let’s hope Didier Deschamps manages to avoid the trap. “

to summarise

Reigning champion, France starts this World Cup with the costume of the favorite. For her world champion status, her five-star squad and her experience. And many other things. But beware of the curse …

Sermaise Florian

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