France 4-2 Croatia: “déprimé, ajusté, récompensé”

FranceDepressed, adjusted, rewarded. France has a new motto, at least in football. Twenty years later, Les Bleus celebrate another world title, and this time away from home. An achievement that lit up the work of Didier Deschamps, who joins the Brazilian Mario Zagallo and the German Franz Beckenbauer in the restricted lot of world champions both playing and training.

To understand this second French world title we have to go back to 2016. To July 10th, the day Portugal won the European Championship. No one wins before learning to lose, and France began to build this title two years ago.

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Allez Les Bleus, On The Counter-Attack

France have steadily improved as the tournament has progressed and are now starting to justify the hype surrounding their presence at Russia’s World Cup. They have kept three clean sheets from five matches and been largely untested thus far – even against powerful teams such as Argentina and Uruguay.

Didier Deschamps’ team proved to be comfortable when they let the opponents retain ball possession. When it happens, France is able to put their offensive threats – Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann – to play at their best in the situation they are more suited for: on counter attack.

Instead, when France were forced to control the game through possession, as they did against Uruguay, they faced trouble trying to provide their forwards with good chances.

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Uruguay 0-2 France: Mastery by the Uruguayan from Macôn

Just like in a movie script, the game between Uruguay and France was decided by the French player who feels Uruguayan. Antoine Griezmann did not even celebrate his goal, but he really was the “Man of the Match” in Nizhny Novgorod, where France assured a place in the semi-finals.

For the second goal it may be inevitable to talk about the incredible error of Fernando Muslera, but the merits of the French number 7 were mainly displayed in Varane’s goal, given the perfection with which he served his colleague via a free kick. To avoid Godin and Giménez’ aerial power, France bet on the anticipation. A poisonous approach from Deschamps’ team, who used an opponent’s weapon to put the game in their own favour.

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