group, player, coach, date… all about the team

Calendar (French time)

November 22: France-Australia, at the Al-Janoub stadium (8 p.m., TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

November 26: France-Denmark, at stadium 974 (5 p.m., TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

November 30: France-Tunisia, at the Education City stadium (4 p.m., TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

Their nickname. Blues. Like all French teams, the nickname of the football team is inspired by their (home) jersey.

The group of 26.

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda.

Defenders: Axel Disasi, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Raphaël Varane.

Environments : Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Mattéo Guendouzi, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Jordan Veretout.

Forwards: Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Randal Kolo Muani, Marcus Thuram.

Better Qatar than ever. After having “brought the cup home” in 2018, twenty years after winning it at home, the Blues are aiming for a third world title, for their sixteenth participation in the tournament.

The selector. Didier Deschamps, 54 years old. Third footballer in history to win the trophy as a player then coach (after Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo), the Basque is approaching his third World Cup at the helm of the Blues. Long decried for the sometimes chilly game of his teams, the pragmatic Didier Deschamps has undergone a tactical transformation for some time to adjust to its workforce. No conclusive results so far. “The very high level requires maximum requirements”, recalled the French coach less than two months before the start of the World Cup. Hyper demanding, the former captain of the 1998 world champions aspires to once again lead his team to the top of the world – something no country has achieved since Brazil’s double in 1958 and 1962.

Summary note from the cabinet Le Monde

The strong points. France lines up an attack that makes the whole world salivate. With, as locomotives, the recent Golden Ball Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé, two of the best players on the planet, without forgetting the always indispensable Antoine Griezmann, and the gunners Kingsley Coman or Ousmane Dembélé. Let’s add Olivier Giroud, now comfortable on the bench and two goals away from becoming the top scorer in the history of the selection, the Blues are not lacking in arguments, as long as the sauce takes, and the clouds of injuries that hover over the year 2022 of the French are moving away.

France striker Kylian Mbappé celebrates the goal he has just scored during a Nations League match between France and Austria, at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, on September 22, 2022.

The weak spots. Corollary, no doubt, of his more attacking game than in the past, the French defense can sometimes seem unbalanced. And, from Hugo Lloris in the cages to Raphaël Varane or Lucas Hernandez, no holder considered for the back lines of the France team has experienced a year 2022 free of air pockets – injury or deformity. In all the competitions they have won, France have started with an iron defence. And by a good performance against Denmark. As in 1984, 1998, 2000 and 2018, the Blues will face the Danish Dynamites in the group stage in Doha. But the French remain on two defeats against their Scandinavian opponents this year.

The firm’s score (out of 5): 4.5. Reigning world champion, France has the resources to excel in Qatar. Among the big favorites of the tournament, Kylian Mbappé’s teammates can believe in a good run, provided they regain the solidity that carried them to the title in 2018.

Keep an eye on him. What if it was the right one? Called up during the last two international competitions, and official “ambiencer” of the Blues in 2018 (with Presnel Kimpembe), Ousmane Dembele has so far never shone in the tricolor jersey. Capable of flashes, but regularly reprimanded for his lack of consistency by Didier Deschamps, the twirling ambidextrous striker of FC Barcelona has been reborn since the end of last season. After several years marked by injuries, a questionable lifestyle and a six-month soap opera concerning his contract at Barça, “Dembouz” is back. “I want to be a player in the World Cup”, claimed the player at the end of September. The Blues will need the former Rennais, who, at 25, is finally performing top flight.

Imagine Arsene… that the France team has already played a World Cup match wearing a striped tunic, green and white. It was in 1978, during the (already) very controversial Argentinian World Cup. Opponents in the last game of the group stage and already eliminated, Hungary and France realized during the warm-up that they were both sporting a white jersey. By the fault of a French steward, who had not taken into account a fax from FIFA ordering the Blues to evolve in blue, the latter almost could not play the game. Their blue tunics having remained in Buenos Aires – hundreds of kilometers from Mar del Plata – Michel Platini’s teammates evolved with the outfit unearthed in an emergency: that of a local amateur club, CA Kimberley.


If you have decided to boycott…

This is an exhibition that will make you travel without going to Doha. Since the end of October, the Musée d’arts de Nantes has been honoring the train journey. Nearly two hundred years after the appearance of the first locomotives, the railway adventure is told through the yardstick of painting. Monet, Van Gogh, Tissot, Dali and others have witnessed the enthusiasm and criticism that this important technological development has aroused.

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