Hallelujah, the Blues have finally offered us happiness! This had not happened since one evening in July 2018. Applied and voluntary, Didier Deschamps’ men triumphed over Portugal (0-1) and reached the semi-finals of the League of Nations, the “thing” established by the ‘UEFA to make friendlies less boring. Despite everything, it will take more to save selection football, relegated to the second division.
The international sequences look more like an ordeal than a moment of communion. Club coaches complain, players balk, fans are bored. The Mbappé sequence revealed all the flaws in modern football: despite the injury (supposed or real) of the player, Didier Deschamps put the French nugget in his list. Discomfort in the ranks and concern on the side of PSG. These incidents are increasing. And for good reason: the interests of the France team now compete with those of the clubs. They need their players to be fit all the time. Taking the risk of sending them to play with their country – and that they get injured – is no longer acceptable. The players have assimilated it perfectly and play with a hand brake, as was the case against Finland (0-2). It must be said that whoever pays always has the last word – in selection, remember that they are almost volunteers. Consequence: the parties are increasingly destitute. Either the typical team does not give its full potential; either a B team is aligned (as was the case for Italy). We would almost come to regret the multiplex on Sunday 3pm, that’s to say …
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Game identity and identification issue
Selection football has been completely overtaken by that of clubs. The level of the Champions League has surpassed that of the World Cup. Add to that a lack of footballing identity – no nation surprises with its style of play -, an identification problem – only one Blue aligned against Portugal plays in Ligue 1 – and the growing number of matches of limited interest (why a friendly meeting scheduled before the League of Nations? why lots of play-offs?), and you get a completely outdated product. While he is the soul of football – and of sport. You have to see the audience for Saturday’s match: more than 7 million viewers on TF1. Proof that the public remains attached to its team. The corpse is still moving.
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Fortunately, there remain the thrills of summer competitions every two years that thrill an entire nation. But until when ?