From our special correspondent in Milton Keynes,
She was the last to leave the lawn, jealous of German celebrations, disgusted with French frustrations. At the time of leaving the Euro without going through the Wembley box, Selma Bacha probably swore that we would not take it back there. No more question of hunkering down or harboring complexes: like his young Lyonnaise, who has become both a favorite and a symbol of this team, the Bleues want to approach the rest with the certainties of the big teams, the very ones who shape the destinies .
For this, the MK Stadium could look like a first step which may prove useful. “It’s a shame to say but I think that tonight they will cross levels because it is by making mistakes that we learn“, advanced Wendie Renard after the fact. Mistakes, they ultimately made few. But between none and few, there is a world that this young group had to understand.
“What did Les Bleues miss? A Popp or a Katoto!”
The future belongs to them
Still, when returning to this Euro started in the tumult of a private list of past executives, the Blues have all left grounds for hope. Radiant in life as on the field, Selma Bacha hammered home a message that she wanted to convey: “We must not throw everything in the trash, we are proud of our journey. Personally, I am proud to be part of this France team, proud of the staff, of the coach. We grow out of it“. A few minutes earlier, at the microphone of TF1, she had even gone further: “One day, this French team will thrill the whole world“.
Words that could have made you smile if an impressed Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had not made similar comments in stride: “If this French team continues on this path, its future will be bright“, estimated the German coach. The future is precisely the keyword for this tricolor team. Apart from Wendie Renard (32), Charlotte Bilbaut (32) and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (30), none of the holders exceeded 30. Karchaoui (26), Mbock (27), Perisset (27), Toletti (27), Diani (27), Geyoro (25) and Cascarino (25) will still be there in the years to come and their level on this Euro is as much a promise as a guarantee.
France Germany – Euro 2022 semi-final
Credit: Getty Images
For the others, from Malard (22) to Bacha (21) without forgetting Katoto (23), it is a Euro that whets the appetite. Because they have tasted at the highest level and they are called to come back to it very quickly and even higher. Also because they made it possible to exorcise these Habs, whose curse of the quarters also passed, sometimes, by a disappointing fund of play. In England, they showed that this past did not really belong to them.
“If we have to draw from the positive, this is our coursesummed up Geyoro. We saw the performances we were able to do, we created chances, that’s what is the most difficult in football“. They also found a form of serenity, well helped in their quest by a Corinne Deacon who did everything to put her group, which she had shaped as she pleased, in the best possible conditions.
2023 World Cup, 2024 Olympics: the opportunities will be great
“Not everything is to be thrown awayrepeated the coach at a press conference. At instant T, disappointment prevails. You can’t be satisfied with losing. We have built things, there is a solid base. We still need a little time. Tonight was not our night, this competition was perhaps not ours. But in any case the foundation is solid, we have built something important with a very friendly, hardworking group that does not like to lose, it bodes well for the future.“.
Where Les Bleues had three years to prepare for this Euro after the 2019 World Cup, the rest will be at a much faster pace. World in Australia and New Zealand next summer before the 2024 Olympics, of course. This Euro was ultimately only the launch phase. Hoping that the rocket ends up really taking off.
Selma Bacha against Germany
Credit: Getty Images
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