Home Sport “Griezmann the Magnificent”, in the mind of Didier Deschamps

“Griezmann the Magnificent”, in the mind of Didier Deschamps

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“At first, the plan we had in place was going according to plan. Almost like on the blackboard. The tactic I had worked out was quite simple after all. Faced with a team that spent this competition defending and carrying out murderous counter-attacks at the end of the match, we had to let them play, wait for them, not rush to attack their lines, not exhaust ourselves hit a wall. That’s what we did in the first half. This plan allowed us to reach half-time with a goal lead (1-0), a situation the Moroccans had never experienced before. And then, as often, in the second half, the air pocket, our system taking on water, a Mbappé with absent subscribers, locked in an almost disturbing nonchalance, so indolent was he in defense, not to say in physical distress. Sure, he kicked off a boost or two, but our star was adrift as ever. Is it the presence of his friend Hakimi, in front of him, who destabilized him or the weaknesses of a mediocre referee, not at the level of a World Cup semi-final? My number 10, in fact, was walked on his feet, on his stomach, by aggressive Moroccans, cerberians attentive to his slightest movements, benefiting from a suspicious indulgence on his part.

A World Cup “in DD’s head”

We could have crumbled, like the Croats against the Argentines, in the other semi-final, but within the Blues there is an all-terrain vehicle, a petrolette with golden feet, and with the heartbeat of cyclist, a man with a vista and extraordinary game intelligence. My Grizou, the one I have defended against his critics for years, undoubtedly played the most complete match in his history. He was everywhere, in the oven and at the mill, in the midfield, to distill velvet balloons, behind, often, to save us from the predicted shipwreck as the Moroccans multiplied kamikaze operations with diabolical skill. All these players, these Atlas Lions, will interest, for sure, the recruiting sergeants of the biggest European clubs. But the one who stunned his own teammates, his opponents, the Moroccan coach, is undoubtedly Antoine Griezmann.

The sequel after the ad

How not to award him an Oscar, which does not exist, but which could be that of the “Greatest collective football player”, in a style that belongs only to him. He runs on tiptoe, like a tireless marathon runner, collecting balls from all parts of the field, tackling in a ballerina style, throwing the ball forward with a touch of the ball, eyes closed, with ease. which can be compared to that of Lionel Messi. I admit it to you, he is my greatest pride. He did not score a goal, of course, but he played the free electrons, giving binder wherever he went, thus reassuring his partners when they were adrift. Antoine represents everything I love in high-level sport, self-sacrifice, self-sacrifice in a chic and shocking version. I am proud to have granted him this role of infantryman freed from all constraints, able to express himself everywhere on the lawn. Supreme paradox, this position of player in free stall imposed an iron discipline on him. And made him an exemplary boss. It is this tremendous contradiction that amazes me the most about him. Yes, I dare say it, we are in the World Cup final thanks to him. There is no doubt that the Argentines will learn from this: the most dangerous man in the Blues may not be Mbappé, but this little blond with light eyes, partly of Portuguese origin, whom the French clubs did not want. , who, to follow his lucky star, left, very young, to rub shoulders with Spanish football. It is of course there that he acquired this porcelain touch, this science of placement to compensate for his small size. When he started in La Liga, his masters were called Iniesta and Xavi, the magicians of Barça. The student has himself become a master.

And if the duel of the final was finally a fight between him and Messi? The Pulga team, the sevenfold Golden Ball, the Martian of football, will probably not let Grizou play tightrope walkers like this time. So, as often, it will be, if we forget a little, Kylian Mbappé’s turn to shine. He will have to give a lot more of himself. But hey, I’m not going to be choosy. We are, for the second time in a row, in the final of the World Cup. Wouldn’t I have a little baraka? »

World Cup, semi-final. France-Morocco: 2-0, goals from T. Hernandez (5th) and R. Kolo Muani (79th)

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