The coach of the France team commented on his choices after having unveiled the group of 23, with 18 globalists, brought to meet Monday at Clairefontaine.
The new cycle of the Blues
“The group, anyway, with the stoppage of several players (Lloris, Mandanda, Varane, Benzema), would have had to be rejuvenated, with less experience.
Choices are always made in a sports logic. In my mind, we have to prepare for the medium term, this obviously means seeing the players in the life of the France group, but also on the field to have answers for the future. While maintaining a certain competitiveness because given our program ( reception of the Netherlands on the 24th, trip to Ireland on the 27th), we will be strong from the start, with the objective of qualifying for Euro 2024. “
Benzema’s innuendos on Deschamps “liar” and “clowm”
“I don’t watch social media. I know that this is a subject which interests you, which leads to debates and polemics. I tell you very calmly,
I had to express myself recently (in Le Figaro and Le Parisien) to say what happened. This is a subject that is closed, behind me, I will not comment on anything. The important thing is the future and these matches that await us. I will not say more on this subject. You are each led to talk about it, to give the substance of your thoughts, I repeat to you, I took the floor to say what had happened. Nothing will make me talk about this subject again. Another (journalist) can try again, he will have the same answer. »
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The choice of Samba rather than Lafont among the goalkeepers
“I will also add the two goalkeepers with the hopes selection who are contenders. With the stopping of Lloris and Mandanda, who are two very experienced players, there were choices to be made. Obviously Alban (Lafont, FC Nantes) also deserves (to be there), but because of what Brice Samba (RC Lens) has been doing since the start of the season, it’s interesting to see him with us. They are two successful goalkeepers with their club but have no international experience. This is the situation today, it could change in two months. There will be a hierarchy, but I prefer to talk to the interested parties about it before.”
If he took Fofana because the Ivory Coast was eyeing him
“On the pressing of Côte d’Ivoire, I never made a choice to prevent this freedom of dual nationals. He could have come before, but Wesley (Chelsea) had a serious injury. This is the moment, he is with us. I’m not going to alienate the other coaches. Jean-Clair Todibo (OGC Nice) was not far away, there are others. The position of central defender is provided with young players with high potential. If I take one, it’s at the expense of the other. It fits into my thinking (to call Todibo), and there will be another list in June. »
Wesley Fofana with Chelsea
TOBY MELVILLE / PANORAMIC
The Pavard case and its role in March
“I talked a lot before, during and after the World Cup too. We are not going to go back on this, it belongs to the past. What matters is what’s ahead. That he maintains the level he has at the club. He is versatile but there, he knows it well, as he knew at the World Cup, he is present for the position of right side. »
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The Thuram siblings in the France team
“They (Kephren, Marcus) are brothers, have the same dad (Lilian) and mum, but it can be two different characters. Lucas and Théo Hernandez were in competition for the same position, this is not the case for Marcus and Kephren. It’s neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, they have this strong family bond. For their dad it’s a lot of pride, the whole family too, but they are in a world of competitors. I’m not going to use the same words with either. I’m not calling two brothers on purpose, so much the better for them. »
Giroud the dean of the Blues
“Like everyone else, they are supposed to be starters, without having guarantees to start all the matches. He has the experience, if he maintains his level of club performance and remains selectable, he is there. We have two matches in three days. His age (36 years old)? He is not young, which brings experience, and today as with Zlatan (41), who is older, he can start as well as enter during the match. He’s there because he keeps himself at the top level. »
Eduardo Camavinga against Liverpool in the Champions League.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP
Fear of no longer seeing Pogba and Kanté, long-term absentees, in the France team
” I am not afraid. But it’s been several months since we’ve seen them on the pitch with different injuries. I always stay positive. Knowing Paul and “NG”, they will do everything to become competitive again. Accumulating injuries kept them away for a long time. I have no doubts about their mental capacity to return to the highest level… Hoping they are spared athletically. »
Why Camavinga left side
“I put him there, because on this rally, I consider him as a left-back. Like other players, he has an interesting versatility, but compared to his qualities, he gives me more guarantees (than others). He will not be surprised, I will not go into details, but I have already had discussions with him in relation to this use. »
Kylian Mbappé claiming the captaincy with the Blues.
JB Autissier / PANORAMIC
The captaincy abandoned by Lloris and Varane
“Kylian (Mbappé) is one of them, like others, it will go through discussions with them, before I make my decision. The criteria can be similar … but different too. There is a responsibility to being a captain, with a little more important obligations. I want to have this discussion internally before making my decision. (Rabiot possible candidate) He has some experience, he has a form of leadership, from there he can be captain (he breathes). Does he want it deep inside? Above all, let it stay as it is. (On doing a turnover) I’m not going on that. »
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The possible sale of the Stade de France
“I had prepared myself for all the questions, this one a little less. This stadium represents a lot of things, after in the interests of each other, I have no control… What do you want me to tell you? There are contracts, I don’t deal with all that. That I have an attachment to this enclosure yes, like all players, today the
Stade de France is our stadium. Will this always be the case? I do not have the answer. There are areas where I do not have the answers, it is not of my own will, nor of my decision”.