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“Boys, I don’t want to talk too much. We all know where we are. We all know what we want. We know how far we’ve come. We know it in our hearts, in our eyes. I can see it boys. We are concentrated. We cannot forget. Maybe I am repeating myself. We are 90 minutes away from possibly making history. 90 minutes. One match. One match. I don’t know how many matches we have played in our careers, but this is one match that changes all of history. There is one trophy. For them (Croatia), it’s the same. They want it. We know we lost a final (UEFA EURO 2016). We know it. We feel it here (points to heart). It’s still in our heads. Today we are not going to let another team take what is ours. Tonight, I want us to be in the memory of all the French people who are watching us—their kids, their grandkids and even their great grandkids. I want us to go on the pitch as warriors, as leaders.”
France midfielder Paul Pogba gives a pre-match speech in the Luzhniki Stadium dressing room ahead of France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the FIFA World Cup™ Final in Moscow in footage recorded by TF1

“I had to turn off my mobile because it was impossible to attend to everyone. It was weird. The whole world was calling me. I have no words about how the Puskas Award changed my life.”
Wendell Lira speaks with The Guardian about how winning the FIFA Puskas Award in 2015 changed his life

“Ours is not a sport but a game. Anybody who plays a game started doing it as a child for fun and the child in us must be nurtured because this often makes us the best. To create play that is fun is the first thing to obtain a style for a high-level squad.”
Maurizio Sarri talks about his philosophy on the game in his first press conference as Chelsea manager

“I want to leave my mark on the history of Juventus. This is one of the best teams in the world and I’ve had my mind set on coming here for a little while.”
Cristiano Ronaldo speaks in his first press conference as a Juventus player after agreeing a four-year deal with the Serie A champions

“I’m delighted to be part of this ground-breaking and inspirational campaign. To be the first women’s team to be given this opportunity is a real reflection of Everton’s one club philosophy and their commitment to the growing profile of the women’s game.”
Everton Ladies captain Danielle Turner speaks with The Guardian after the English club became the first to use their ladies team to front a kit launch

“Every single cap has been an honour. I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to represent my country.”
Tim Cahill speaks in a press conference following his announcement that he has retired from international duty with Australia

“I didn’t want to say it myself, so as not to appear immodest but since you’ve mentioned it… In my opinion, it was the best match of the tournament, both in terms of the tension and the football.”
Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov speaks with FIFA.com about the achievements of the host nation at Russia 2018

“The team can evolve. A player must be given weapons. The team has been a standard bearer, with everyone studying what we do… We’ll continue to play a possession game but with subtle variations to improve things.”
Luis Enrique speaks at his first press conference since taking over as Spain’s head coach

“We were so close to winning the World Cup itself. And we will certainly think about it for a long time. But we can be proud. When you see this support of the fans after the match, it definitely makes you happier. We know we did something big here. But when you come so close, it is not easy to take.”
Croatia midfielder and adidas Golden Ball winner Luka Modric speaks after his side’s 4-2 defeat by France in the World Cup Final

“This kind of offer you do not refuse. It will be my honour to come to Croatia. After the match, I feel connected with your country and I was supporting you in the World Cup final.”
AFP photographer Yuri Cortez accepts an invitation by the Croatia National Tourist Board (HTZ) to visit the country after he captured Croatia’s goal celebrations in their semi-final win over England at Russia 2018 while being crushed by Mario Mandzukic and his team-mates

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With seven final appearances and five titles in less than three years, there is no denying that it has been an impressive few seasons for C.D. Guadalajara. That said, the first half of 2018 ended on a rather sour note for this giant of Mexican football.

After winning the CONCACAF Champions League in April to secure their place at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018, Chivas then finished second-bottom in the domestic league with a paltry 15 points from a possible 51.

The recent summer break ushered in a few important changes at the club as they look to fine tune performances ahead of their league, Copa MX and Club World Cup challenges over the next six months.

FIFA.com takes a closer look at Chivas’ present situation.

Cardozo takes the reins
After overseeing the success of recent seasons, Argentinian coach Matias Almeyda parted company with the club on 14 June. The man tasked with emulating him is Paraguayan Jose Saturnino Cardozo, himself no stranger to Mexican football.

His principle objective is to improve the team’s finishing – undoubtedly their Achilles’ heel of late. Despite carving out plenty of scoring chances, the players have been struggling to convert them, as evidenced in their last four games, when they failed to find the target even once.

As fortune would have it, Cardozo knows a thing or two about scoring, having set the record for most goals (29) in a short-format league campaign in Mexico. Unsurprisingly, there has been considerable emphasis on passing on his skills and knowledge of the striker’s art to his front men during pre-season.

Transfer market activity
Also key next season will be how well the club’s new signings perform. With Guadalajara having let go of top players like keeper Rodolfo Cota, centre-back Oswaldo Alanis and striker Rodolfo Pizarro, the bar is high for those coming in. These include:

  • Raul Gudino, a silver medallist at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013. Gudino will have to show that, despite being just 22, his stints playing in Portugal and Cyprus have given him the requisite goalkeeping maturity.
  • Josecarlos Van Rankin, one of the most consistent right-backs of recent seasons with Pumas. This will be his first spell away from the club where he was nurtured, so it remains to be seen if he can make a swift transition.
  • Angel Sepulveda, who is expected to be the main strike partner of Alan Pulido, the man who currently leads the line for the Rebaño Sagrado. Sepulveda, who has already been selected for Mexico, is a versatile forward with a lot of movement outside the area, in contrast to Pulido, who is more of a close-in predator.

Youthful bounty
However, it is not all about new signings at Guadalajara. Known to have one of the best youth academies in Mexico, Cardozo could well turn to some of the numerous youngsters who would give anything for a chance of first-team football.

Any young players coming in will find themselves among experienced defenders like Jair Pereira and Carlos Salcido, two genuine dressing-room leaders. Jose Macias and Gael Sandoval, to name just two of the young crop, are a pair of attacked-minded players sure to make the most of any minutes given to them by the coach.

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Cherchesov: Football fever in Russia really took off – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Russia spread joy with their performances and results on home soil
  • The hosts sent Spain packing and almost reached the semi-final
  • Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov explained reasons behind achievements

The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ was an unforgettable celebration of football, and a major factor in this was the superb performance of hosts Russia. FIFA.com sat down with Sbornaya head coach Stanislav Cherchesov to ask how his team managed to surprise everyone by reaching the quarter-finals, where they narrowly lost to Croatia on penalties after a keenly fought contest.

“Firstly, much credit goes to the organisers,” Cherchesov began. “After being awarded the World Cup, we had to convince everyone who voted for Russia that it was the right decision. All the organisational aspects were carried out to an extremely high standard. This isn’t just coming from us; our foreign guests have said the same thing. This is key because, without that, neither we nor any other national team would have been able to perform well.

“For two years we were preparing for this objective and there was a competitive selection process in the squad. We were dogged by injuries, which happens to a lot of teams. We tried to address all the issues, and then focus on the players we had and the opponents we were due to face. Before the World Cup, we had a brilliant training camp in Tirol, which is also where we tuned up for the Confederations Cup a year ago. That tournament was our dress rehearsal; it helped us to see where our shortcomings were and correct them before the real thing.

“We realised that we needed to not just win the Opening Match but do it convincingly, so the fans would start believing in the team. The football fever in Russia really took off after that game. The whole of the country was patiently and nervously waiting for the World Cup, but the team and the fans were united right from the first match.”

The 5-0 victory in the Opening Match came as a surprise to everyone, but the *Sbornaya *did not stop there and secured qualification from the group in their very next fixture. The defeat to Uruguay was followed by one of the shocks of the tournament, as Russia knocked out one of the pre-tournament favourites, Spain. The hosts then met Croatia in the last-eight, and the pair served up a thriller that will live long in the memory, but which of his team’s performances pleased Cherchesov the most?

“On an emotional level, Spain, of course,” the head coach answered, “but in terms of the performance, probably the Egypt game. We knew perfectly well what we had to do and set out to get the win that would earn qualification for the Round of 16. Although a coach, like any father, shouldn’t pick out favourites from among his children, all five matches were satisfying in their own way and gave food for thought.”

“We wanted to win against Uruguay, but actually we specifically didn’t change our tactics, so our next opponent wouldn’t think we might do this against them,” Cherchesov continued. “We’d played with five defenders previously, but before the World Cup and at the tournament itself we set up with four at the back. I think this wrong-footed Spain a little bit. They couldn’t come up with an answer to our tactical approach. I’m grateful to the players, they carried out the game plan to the letter.”

When Igor Akinfeev stuck out his leg to save the decisive penalty from Iago Aspas, the country erupted in joyous celebrations. However, there was even more to come: the quarter-final against Croatia will rightfully go down as one of the most fascinating and gripping encounters in World Cup history.

“I didn’t want to say it myself, so as not to appear immodest,” Cherchesov smiled, “but since you’ve mentioned it… In my opinion, it was the best match of the tournament, both in terms of the tension and the football.”

Russia scored 11 goals in total at the World Cup, three of which are in the running for Goal of the Tournament – a feat only Belgium can match, although the Red Devils were also the leading goalscorers at the competition. How did Russia manage to find the net so often and so spectacularly as well?

“We have some individually gifted players,” the coach explained. “Each one has their own ‘trademark’, so to speak. [Aleksandr] Golovin is a set-piece specialist and has a great strike from distance, [Denis] Cheryshev has a wonderful left foot and we all know what Artem Dzyuba is capable of. The lads were focused and well prepared. Our players drew praise for more than just their beautiful goals, which is why some top European clubs are interested in a few of them. That is clearly pleasing to us.”


© Getty Images

Exceeding expectations

That Russia made it as far as the quarter-final is unquestionably an excellent achievement, but after the painful penalty shootout defeat to Croatia, players and coaches alike admitted they were aiming for more. Now that the dust has settled and the champions have been crowned, it is possible to assess the result with a cool head.

“A quarter-final is a pretty good result for us, if we analyse the performances,” Cherchesov agreed. “Croatia beat England and played well in the final, so we can safely say Russia deserve a good mark. However, there’s only one World Cup Trophy and it went to France…

“We played against the French in March and saw how good they were back then. We were criticised for our results in the warm-up matches against Argentina, Spain, Brazil and France, but those matches gave us a lot to ponder and helped us to prepare for the World Cup. We’ll come across France again and I think the experience we’ve built up will help us to play well. But there are no ifs and buts in sport: France are the world champions and I congratulate my colleague Didier Deschamps. I was surprised at how well their star players put the team first.”

What now for Russia after the World Cup on home soil?

“Everything moves on and changes. A few players have retired from international football, although I’ve joked how [Sergei] Ignashevich had apparently already retired from the national team two years ago, so he better not change his phone number! There was so much emotion, the fans were delighted, but we need to calmly evaluate how we did. We have to analyse our performance and take our next steps forward.”

During the emotional ceremony in honour of the Sbornaya at Vorobyovy Gory last week, Cherchesov declared from the stage that the team is capable of going even further at Qatar 2022.

“If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t have said it,” Stanislav concluded. “Players and coaches come and go, but the Russian national team remains. Regardless of who’s in the line-up in four years’ time, we have to believe in and support them.”

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Brazil goalkeeper Alisson makes Liverpool switch – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Alisson completes move from Roma to Liverpool
  • 25-year-old goalkeeper signs multi-year deal
  • He played in all five of Brazil’s matches at Russia 2018

Liverpool have completed the transfer of Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker from Italian Serie A side Roma on a multi-year deal.

The 25-year-old joins the English Premier League giants after undergoing a medical and completing the formalities of his move to the Reds on Thursday.

“I’m really happy, it’s a dream come true to wear such a prestigious shirt for a club of this size that is used to always winning,” he told the club’s official website. “In terms of my life and my career, it’s a huge step for me being part of this club and this family.

“You can be certain that I’ll give my all.”

Alisson played in all five of Brazil’s matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, where A Seleção were eliminated in the quarter-finals after a 2-1 defeat to Belgium.

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Luis Enrique: Spain’s football can evolve – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • ​Luis Enrique replaces Fernando Hierro as head coach of Spain
  • He insists Spain will maintain its playing style but with some changes
  • We pick out the keys to the method he himself outlined

Luis Enrique has been officially unveiled as La Roja’s new coach at an event organised by the Spanish Football Federation in which the Asturian coach explained the fundamentals of the project he is delighted to be undertaking.

“I’m very excited about this challenge and the possibility of ratcheting the team up a notch. I’ll be giving it everything I have,” the 48-year-old told the attending media. “I’m ready and really eager to win the competitions that await us. All I can say is, ‘Let’s go win them!’”

The president of the Federation, Luis Rubiales, explained that, after the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui and the resignation of his replacement Fernando Hierro after the team’s exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, they bet everything on Luis Enrique. “He is the only coach with whom we got in touch. It’s been very straightforward because of his commitment and passion, and we’ll be doing everything we can to make him feel comfortable,” he said.

For his part, Jose Francisco Molina, the federation’s new technical director, has described Enrique as a “modern coach with a great work methodology”.

Luis Enrique’s method

Evolution not revolution
“Let there be no doubt: we’re going to continue with the same style.” The coach stated categorically that there would be no radical changes to the team’s playing style, insisting that the style founded and defined by [former Spain coach] Luis Aragones was what they should continue with.

That said, the new coach was clear that there would be changes. “The team can evolve. A player must be given weapons. The team has been a standard bearer, with everyone studying what we do… We’ll continue to play a possession game but with subtle variations to improve things.”

Tactical modifications
“Tactically, there are a lot of things we can improve.” One of the objectives, as the coach himself explained, is to improve effectiveness in front of goal – a shortcoming the team has had in recent years, as was evident in Russia.

“Converting chances is the most difficult aspect. We have a lot of work to do with the players in this respect. We’ll come up against opponents who respect us and who will defend en masse. That’s where our work will come in – enabling our players to recognise those instances and overcome them.”

Psychology – fundamental to performance
Just as he did when coaching at club level, Luis Enrique will have a psychologist, Joaquin Valdes, as part of his staff. “The psychologist is an option we give to the players. We privately seek to help them as much as possible to improve their performance,” he revealed.

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Following the publication in May 2018 of FIFA Circular no. 1628, which informed all FIFA member associations of a new approach with respect to the application of art. 64 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code to debtor clubs, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has taken a series of decisions in application of the new framework.

All clubs concerned were found guilty of failing to comply with previous decisions of a FIFA body or a subsequent CAS appeal decision ordering them to pay significant overdue amounts of money to players. The sanctions imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee are as follows:

  • The club Al Arabi Sports Club, Qatar, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 30,000 and given a final deadline of 90 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for two entire and consecutive registration periods if it fails to meet the final deadline.

  • The club Al Kharaitiyat, Qatar, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 25,000 and given a final deadline of 60 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for two entire and consecutive registration periods if it fails to meet the final deadline.

  • The club Zamalek Sporting Club, Egypt, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 25,000 and given a final deadline of 60 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for two entire and consecutive registration periods if it fails to meet the final deadline.

  • The club Al Jazira SC, United Arab Emirates, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 25,000 and given a final deadline of 60 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for two entire and consecutive registration periods if it fails to meet the final deadline.

  • The club Mersin İdman Yurdu Spor Kulübü, Turkey, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 20,000 and given a final deadline of 60 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for two entire and consecutive registration periods if it fails to meet the final deadline.

  • The club FC Kuban, Russia, was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 15,000 and given a final deadline of 30 days to pay the outstanding amounts. The club will face an automatic deduction of six points and the automatic imposition of a transfer ban for one entire registration period if it fails to meet the final deadline.

In accordance with FIFA Circular no. 1628 and in order to ensure that all decisions passed by FIFA bodies are respected as soon as they are issued, should the relevant amounts due not be paid in full by the debtor within the final deadline, the debtor’s association will be required to automatically apply the point deduction and/or the ban from registering any new players.

Should a member association fail to automatically implement said sanctions at national level and provide the secretariat to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee with proof of the implementation of the point deduction and/or transfer ban, disciplinary proceedings – which may lead to an expulsion from all FIFA competitions – may be opened against the association concerned.

In addition to said decisions, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Egyptian Football Association with a fine of CHF 50,000 and a warning for not respecting the mandatory rest period indicated in FIFA Circular no. 1578 as well as FIFA Circular no. 5 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. In particular, the member associations participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ were prohibited from playing friendly or preparation matches between 21 and 27 May 2018, in order to protect players before the final competition in Russia. Despite this, the Egyptian national team played an international friendly match against the national team of Kuwait on 25 May 2018.

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FIFA this week hosted its second National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC) workshop in Panama City, Panama, building on the programme’s inaugural event held in South Africa in May.

NDRCs are arbitration tribunals, based on the principle of equal representation of clubs and players, to offer players and clubs an efficient and affordable mechanism to handle disputes regarding employment and contractual stability as well as those concerning training compensation and solidarity contributions.

During FIFA’s two-day workshop, held on 17 and 18 July and the first of its kind in the Americas, Member Associations, clubs and players’ representatives from Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay, were joined by representatives of football’s global stakeholders: FIFPro, World Leagues Forum (‘WLF’), Concacaf and CONMEBOL.

Participants worked constructively to discuss the status of dispute resolutions involving clubs and players and to define the next steps to set up, or review, the structures of each of the four nation’s NDRCs, along the lines of FIFA’s Standard National Dispute Resolution Chamber Regulations.

Following the successful completion of FIFA’s first pilot project in Costa Rica, the kick-off of NDRC programmes in Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay, represents a further step to modernise relations between clubs and players in the Americas.

The global implementation of NDRCs is managed by FIFA’s Professional Football Department, with the assistance of Player Status Department. The programme will continue with the organisation of further workshops and the engagement of more Member Associations in the coming months.

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7.7 million football fans visit FIFA Fan Fest during Russia 2018 – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • ​FIFA Fan Fest attract 2.5 million more people than four years ago
  • Almost half a million attended across the 11 venues on 25 June
  • Fans got to 646 bands play 323 hours of music for free

The FIFA Fan Fest™ took Russia by storm. Following the exhilarating final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ that saw France take the title, FIFA can confirm that the Russian edition of the FIFA Fan Fest welcomed 7.7 million visitors. This compares to 5.2 million fans at the 2014 edition..

Every matchday tens of thousands of Russian and international football fans opted for the FIFA Fan Fest locations as their venues of choice. They watched a total of 917 hours of live football and enjoyed an exciting music and cultural entertainment programme featuring 646 bands playing 323 hours of live music, all free of charge.

“The close collaboration between FIFA, the LOC, the Host Cities and our Commercial Affiliates made this project possible,” said FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Philippe Le Floc’h. “The FIFA Fan Fests offered a free, safe and highly entertaining space to the 7.7 million local and international fans that came to watch matches in those spectacular locations.”

“The work has already started to make the FIFA Fan Fest experience even more entertaining in the future and we are looking forward to welcoming fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar,” he added.

The highest day’s attendance was 25 June, the day Uruguay played Host Country Russia, when 499,000 fans attended 11 venues. The Host City of Moscow achieved the best attendance with a staggering number of 1,887,200 visitors. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, top venue Rio de Janeiro had 937,330 visitors in total.

The FIFA Fan Fest has been part of the Official Programme of the FIFA World Cup since the 2006 edition in Germany. It featured again at the 2010 and 2014 editions in South Africa and Brazil, and has definitely been one of the highlights for fans in Russia.

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On 4 August The O2 will host the decisive matches of the FIFA eWorld Cup – but the tournament’s games are far from the only thing on offer:

Programme highlights at a glance:

Play FIFA 19 for the first time

Twenty consoles loaded with FIFA 19 await at the O2 from 12:00 on 4 August. Be one of the first in the world to try FIFA 19 ahead of its official release.

Enjoy the 2v2 Celebrity Tournament

Watch as famous faces from the FIFA scene including SpencerFC and ChuBoi take on London-based guests such as one of the F2 Freestylers and many more in the 2v2 Celebrity Tournament.

Watch the semi-finals and the Final Showdown

Experience the FIFA eWorld Cup’s decisive matches live at The O2 to see which player will win USD 250,000 and a trip to the Best FIFA Football Awards™.

Full programme for 4 August:

12:00 – Doors open

13:00 – Semi-finals of the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final

15:00 – 2v2 Celebrity Tournament

17:00 – Reveal of FIFA Ultimate Team news for FIFA 19

17:30 – Start of pre-show

18:00 – Final Showdown of the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final

20:00 – Wrap-up and after-show party (until 02:00)

Key facts:

Date:

4 August 2018

Location:

The O2, London

Tickets:

VIP and general tickets available at: www.fifa.com/fewc/tickets

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  • ​After Les Bleus in Russia, Les Bleuettes will soon get their chance to shine
  • The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup kicks off in France on 5 August
  • The hosts will look to extend France’s summer football party

Just like the French men’s senior team, they too could be crowned world champions this summer. And just like Les Bleus in 1998, they could achieve the feat on home soil. France’s women’s U-20 side have their own date with destiny next month, with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup set to kick off in Brittany on 5 August.

“What Les Bleus pulled off was exceptional,” said Helene Fercocq, the France U-20 midfielder sharing her pride with FIFA.com. “It’s incredible to even take part in a World Cup, but to actually win it is something else. You just had to see how happy they were. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get there, and what they experienced was a massive reward. It would be incredible to experience the same thing.”

While Fercocq is preparing for her first taste of the U-20 Women’s World Cup, goalkeeper Mylene Chavas already knows what to expect. Chavas was first choice for Les Bleuettes at the previous edition two years ago, and she excelled between the posts as France progressed all the way to the final – where they lost to Korea DPR.

“We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves,” said Chavas. “We knew what our goal was even before Les Bleus gave us even more motivation to achieve it. They did what they had to do, and now it’s our turn to do the same thing. It’s a different competition, and we have our own history to write after they wrote theirs.”

Although Chavas and Co are deep in their preparations for next month’s tournament, they were still able to celebrate France’s triumph this weekend. “I watched the final with my family near to where I live – it was a little bar but a big party,” explained the keeper. “I saw it in Reims with friends from my old club,” added Fercocq. “I partied all night, but I kept my strength for this competition. I’ve been preparing for it for a while now and it’s the only thing on my mind.”

The French public are already primed, meanwhile. Stirred by the feats of Didier Deschamps’ charges over the last month, they are looking forward to prolonging a famous summer for French football into August. “Les Bleus under Deschamps are perhaps a little like Les Bleuettes under Gilles Eyquem,” said Chavas. “We’re a very united squad like they were. We kind of resemble them in a way.” Fercocq agreed: “We also have younger players, born in 1999 and 2000, who liven up the atmosphere and older players, born in 1998, who are calmer and the leaders. That’s similar to Les Bleus.”

Whether they too can expect a parade on the Champs-Elysees if they win the final on 24 August remains to be seen. “I doubt that will happen, but I’d love to do it,” joked Fercocq. What is certain, however, is that France will never tire of seeing its football teams lift World Cup trophies.

See also



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