By Le Figaro with AFP
The coach of the Blue gives his analysis after the elimination of his team against Australia this Saturday, in Brisbane, in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
How do you feel after this elimination on penalties?
Herve Renard : I am even more positive than them, I would like to congratulate them for having succeeded this evening (Saturday) in a great match against an entire nation. Some parameters were not in our direction, it’s difficult to fight like that. We almost did, but we didn’t. I can’t fault them. Next year we will be at home (at the Olympics), we still have a chance to win something. Congratulations again to everyone and all the staff. We had in front of us a very great goalkeeper, who managed an exceptional match both in regulation time and in the penalty shootout. It was she who made the difference tonight. The parameter is just that there is a hand in the surface not whistled, we are not going to cry but it must be said anyway. We are not blessed-yes-yes, we must say. It’s a nice boost to qualify. Tonight it was 50-50, fate chose Australia.
Is this new quarter-final elimination a failure for Les Bleues, and does it put pressure on you for the Games?
There is only one who has no pressure, it is the one who wins in the end. It didn’t go far, if you’re objective you can write it yourself. It would be bad faith to say that the France team was not up to it, I do not allow you to say that. The girls were exceptional, we had an anything but easy quarter-final against an entire nation. They made a magical match, I will not go into these considerations which for me are of no importance.
The responsibility lies with me, I couldn’t do better than in 2019.
Can you come back to the game and the penalty shootout?
I have already lost competitions on penalties, I am proud of the players. (…) It was a great experience, I would have preferred a victory tonight but that’s football (…). A coach is lucid. I congratulate them, it’s not to do well but I congratulate them for all the work they have done. We spent 53 days together, everyone did their job in a fantastic way. Tonight, he missed that little something, it’s up to me to get that something. The responsibility lies with me, I was unable to do better than in 2019. We have to start the year 2024 well in the League of Nations, and prepare for the Olympics. It’s part of football, it will allow us to come back even stronger (…). It was the plan for the penalties to bring in Solène Durand, she is incredible. She stopped two penalties, even three (a post, editor’s note). If we win tonight, we are the kings of the world, but we miss by a few millimetres. (On late substitutions) We had a frame that made a good extra time, if you look at Vicki Becho’s shot, the goalkeeper made an exceptional save. The two changes are for the penalty shootout, they gave their all and I’m really proud of them.
Statements taken at a press conference.