The main thing is not to burn. How many generations of the French national team were promised on paper before disappearing when they arrived in adulthood? However, the 2002 generation, who won their first title yesterday afternoon in Salon-de-Provence, has a future ahead of them.
These Blueberries have not yet started in the tournament. ” againstah, you say. Many returned from several days of vacation.says captain Lucien Agume, echoing his coach Bernard Diomedes, who constantly repeated that this draw with Panama in the opening (0:0, 2:4 tab) did not affect the mood and that it took a little time to collect the players in the scattered form of the reserve copy and work. “They all wanted to participate in this tournament. But someone was not ready, someone did not play all year. »
They then beat Saudi Arabia (5-0), Argentina (6-2) and finally Mexico in the semi-finals (4-2). With fifteen goals in three matches, the final against an amazing Venezuelan team should have been a formality. But it’s not.
“First, they played with two strikers and their best player. [Telasco Segovia, également élu meilleur joueur du tournoi, Ndlr] on the side which was not expected. It took us a while to find a solution »acknowledged Bernard Diomede.
France, in full doubt, ended up choosing a goal from this famous Segovia (8e).
The second half that changes everything
After the break, a completely different game began. Returning to a five-man defense and making at least three substitutions, Diomedes found the right formula, and his charges attacked Samuel Rodriguez’s goal. Monegasque Maghnes Akliouche equalized after slalom in an area marked by a cross shot out of reach of the last Latin roll (53e), and Remois Nathanael Mbuku could have doubled down in a few minutes without Rodriguez’s authoritarian intervention (again and again!).
Then, very aggressive in the fights, Venezuela got angry at the constant whistles of the Brazilian referee Edina Alves. Until the collection of yellow cards and, finally, a red card for Emerson Ruiz, which finally outweighed the match in favor of the Blues: it did not take Mbuku even five minutes to score the winning goal. The Reims striker, whom the coach scolded at the start of the tournament, eventually became the hero of the Salonese evening.
“I spoke to him about his performance in front of goal. This did not please him, but today he won, and other players were very happy for him. Like, you should always tell the players the truth.”– concludes Diomede, for whom this success is an obstacle course. “Some players followed, I don’t know how they did it. » Others, such as star striker Hugo Ekitike, have been greatly weakened by injury.
Thus, seven years after his last coronation, the French team raised 48e Maurice Revello Trophy. A big reward for this generation, which has already reached the semi-finals of the international competition, but could not go any further. “This is also a first for me as I have not achieved more than a semi-final here with the 1999 generation. »Diomedes smiled. The 1998 world champion has a meeting with the national technical leadership on Tuesday and will inherit a new group at the start of the school year. His former foals can now dream of joining the France under-23 team and competing in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
And then, if they are diligent and perseverant, one day they may become the France A team. “ Everyone will have individual goals and this will require good club performance. Let’s enjoy the fact of winning this tournament, enjoy the holidays and see what happens if we end up in the Espoirs qualifiers.”wisely concludes Agume.