The World Cup, heaven or hell for France

That’s the problem when you enjoy winning, defeat then gets nasty in your mouth. Since the French team won its first world star in 1998, the returns to earth have almost always been experienced as accidents at work with the culprits to be designated and a moral guilt to pay. Winning or failing in the wide widths of the World Cup, this would be the only possible horizon for Hugo Lloris’ teammates a few days before the start of their tournament against Australia on November 22 at the Al-Janoub stadium in Qatar.

At 35, the goalkeeper (and captain) has known the worst and the best as a globalist. He was a passive young man who mutinied in a bus stopped in Knysna (South Africa) during the most famous and grotesque strike in French sport, in the middle of the 2010 World Cup. Eight years after this brief stay in South Africa (and a two defeats in three matches), Lloris brandishing the Jules-Rimet trophy in the Moscow rain. Between the two, Nice experienced a so-called “normal” World Cup with this elimination in the quarterfinals lost without shame or eternal regrets against Germany (1-0), in 2014. Also Karim Benzema. In Rio, the cursed future of Doha (injured and forfeit for the current edition) plays what remains his last match in a World Cup.

The Brazilian episode therefore appears as an anomaly. Since 1998, the French team has been traveling between Austerlitz station (1998 and 2018 titles, 2006 final) and Waterloo terminus. Eight years before Knysna, the Blues prepare for the World Cup in South Korea with a second star already sewn above the rooster on the shirt. Like a whole country, the official equipment supplier with the three stripes sees this team as too beautiful and untouchable. The training center of Clairefontaine (Yvelines) is open to all merchants of the temple and, by dint of passing from one sponsor’s tent to another, the defender Willy Sagnol has freed himself “having lived a VIP week”.

“We can say anything in football”

The sequel is known. Elimination in the first round of the 2002 World Cup healed as much as Zinédine Zidane’s famous left thigh. We fantasize about a life of debauched rock stars at the Sheraton Hotel in Seoul, when a media court condemns this team for arrogance, when it was mostly at the end of its course and badly managed by its coach, Roger Lemerre. “We are not the Dream Team. Everyone has forgotten that we are just footballers. We make matches and we can lose them., however, had Lilian Thuram booked after the opening defeat against Senegal (1-0). When we discuss the South Korean episode with him, Didier Deschamps comes out with a pirouette: “I was on vacation at the time. » Not fake.

You still have 63.86% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *