The French national team begins to defend the world championship. It will be extremely difficult to repeat the success of four years ago – injuries and several scandals hit the wards of Didier Deschamps. RIA Novosti Sport describes the most damaged team of the tournament.
In the first match, the French will play against Australia. In addition, their rivals in Group D were Denmark and Tunisia.
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France weakened on all lines
The French team suffered the most tangible losses among all participants in the World Cup. Karim Benzema will become the first monarch to win the Ballon d’Or and miss the tournament in 44 years.
Let me remind you that due to the blackmail scandal, Mathieu Valbuena striker “Real” was excommunicated from the national team for several years. He missed the victorious world championship in Russia and the European domestic championship, which the French lost in the final. Benzema is 34 years old. The tournament in Qatar could be his last chance to win a trophy with the national team.
Deschamps was extremely upset by his injury and Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku. He was named the Bundesliga’s best player at the end of last season and has managed to score 17 goals this year.
The offensive trio of Benzema, Nkunku and Kylian Mbappe scared the defenders. But now the PSG player will have to carry it alone.
The creators of the recent successes of the French Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante did not fly to Qatar. The first has not played since April and was forced to recover from a meniscus injury. Shortly before the tournament, he suffered a recent injury that left Paul without going to the World Championships.
In recent years, Pogba has been heavily criticized for playing for Manchester United. The British press condemned the midfielder for only giving his best in national team matches. Without it, the middle line of the French will definitely lose in creativity.
Kante was a key player in Deschamps’ team in Russia. He untied Pogba’s hands and cleared the area. Now the French were left without the main “founder” and destroyer of the offensive. The coaches played Aston Villa’s Boubacar Camara instead of N’Golo. However, he managed to get injured before the tournament.
Due to the lack of players, Deschamps will have to experiment. Transfer of Antoine Griezmann to midfield could be one of them. At a press conference, the striker was asked directly in the middle of the pitch if he was ready to play for the national team. Griezmann has made it clear that he can play any position for the good of the team.
The French have a lot of defender options. But even here the team managed to face difficulties. Already after the announcement of the application Presnel Kimpembe was injured. The PSG player has looked good this season and clearly has a place at the start. Now it is unclear who the team can trust. After all, for example, Raphael Varane recently attended an individual program and Jules Kunde had minor health issues.
The team is surrounded by scandals.
Even during the withdrawal of the League of Nations, disputes arose between Mbappe and the country’s football federation. The essence of the matter lay in the sponsors of the national team, which turned out to be inconvenient for the star striker.
Kilian didn’t like two things. The first is the even distribution of revenue from advertising campaigns. The second is the field of activity of the team partners. France has many sponsors from the fast food sector. The PSG striker did not want to be associated with an unhealthy diet.
It got to the point where Mbappe refused to participate in the team’s photo shoot. The Federation had to intervene urgently to resolve the situation. As a result, the bosses of French football talked about Kilian and agreed to renegotiate their advertising contracts.
Striker “PSG” was embroiled in another scandal that thundered in August. True, this time it wasn’t Mbappe who started it. Then, details about Pogba’s private life were leaked to the press. The older brother of the Juventus midfielder blackmailed him for 13 million euros.
Matthias said that Paul turned to shamans. Allegedly, the midfielder asked magicians to curse Mbappe before the World Cup. If the midfielder had not been injured, the atmosphere in the team could have heated up even more.
One of the French scandals did not have time to end before the tournament began. In recent weeks, allegations of harassment have rained down on the bosses of the local football association. Employees of the organization accused the head of Noel Le Gret of obscene behavior. The man tried to kiss women against their will and sent obscene messages.
Some girls even had to quit. Le Gré personally fought the accusations in the press, but failed to launder his reputation.
Catch the organization’s finance director for misconduct. Even 10,000 euros were charged. As a result of the investigation, the local court decided that there was a “toxic and hostile atmosphere towards women” in the federation.
Against this background, Deschamps had to prepare the team for the World Cup. His contract expires after the tournament in Qatar. He will probably resign. The French press is confident that Zinedine Zidane will be the new manager.
Given the issues, it will be incredibly difficult for Deschamps to end his stay with the national team on a positive note. In such a case, if he leads France to the second championship in a row, he will leave as a legend.
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