Giroud and Griezmann behind the exclusion from the World Cup? –

Of Stefano Montefiori, correspondent from Paris

Two days after the defeat in the final against Argentina, France is dealing with a broken dressing room despite Macron’s exaltation of unity

A president in shirtsleeves waving at the goals of 2-2 and then 3-3, a head of state fan and father who in the moment of defeat caresses the heads, kisses the cheeks, embraces the heartbroken champions and shows himself very near. Even too much. The solidarity shown by Emmanuel Macron towards Kylian Mbapp and the others blue not liked by all. And yesterday the political opponents did not fail to point this out.

Inappropriate, defined it Olivier Faure, secretary of the socialist party. And the future head of the France Insoumise (radical left), Manuel Bompard, ironically: We must not politicize sportrepeating the phrase that Macron himself had pronounced a few days earlier regarding the question of human rights in Qatar.

Macron took to the pitch but paradoxically seemed even more closed in his world
, therefore unable to be truly empathic with Mbapp. Otherwise he would have understood the unequivocal signals that the French phenomenon was sending him: in those moments, on the field and then when the medal for second place was awarded, Mbapp had no desire to feel the sovereign hand of the president on his head. More Macron touched him and spoke to him, and more Mbapp looked straight ahead, between anger and discomfort.

Many in France, starting with the newspaper So Footthey didn’t even like Macron’s entry into the locker room at the end of the game: His paternalistic attitude appears even more surreal because it is accompanied by an almost indecent mismatch with the dejected bodies and the looks of the players’ boxers. Macron spoke of pride, heart and unity but perhaps, particularly on unity, he would have done better to gloss over.

Because if there is one man who missed France on Sunday afternoon it was Ballon d’Or Karim Benzema, and if that man did not play in the final or even the previous matches it was not for that vague thigh injury, but because the locker room it wasn’t united at all. Benzema left Qatar a few minutes after the injury in training, without even trying to recover. then healed enough to be able to take the field in a friendly match with his Real Madrid, but not enough to play in the World Cup final with France.

In that team that appeared disoriented and overwhelmed for 70 minutes on Sunday, Benzema would have been useful even in mid-duty, even if only in the second half, even if only to take one of the penalties missed by his teammates instead. Instead Deschamps (perhaps with the agreement of Griezmann and Giroud) dismissed him at the start of the competition, amid controversy and suspicion. Yesterday, the striker with 37 goals out of 97 games announced his now predictable retirement from Les Bleus by posting a photo of himself in the national team shirt and these bitter words: I made the efforts and the mistakes it took to get where I am today and I am proud! I wrote my story, and ours ends here.

Macron flew to greet sailors from the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier off the coast of Egypt, while players returning from Qatar greeted the French on the Place de la Concorde. it was an extraordinary adventure, of course. But perhaps some rhetoric will be swept away in the next few days, when we know what really happened between Benzema and the rest of the team.

December 20, 2022 (change December 20, 2022 | 07:38)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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