From our Special Envoy in Doha,
The France team made a perfect entry into the World Cup by beating Australia (4-1). The draw between Tunisia and Denmark a little earlier, as well as the 50th and 51st pawns of Giroud in Blue, which equals the record of the great Titi Henry, added a few more stars in a night that was nevertheless damn bad embarked after the exit on injury of Lucas Hernandez.
We come a long way. We are among friends, we are not going to play oud. Tuesday evening, for the entry into the running of the Blues against Australia, we were scared, very scared, while attending, speechless, at the start of the ca-ta-strophic match of the band at Deschamps. The kind of stuff to make us say that, ultimately, bad luck and marabouts may not just be in Paul Pogba’s head. Not content with having lost the equivalent of a team of five even before the start of the competition, the Blues could only observe helplessly the knee injury of Lucas Hernandez in a harmless duel with Leckie.
On the cross that follows, the ball flies to the far post (not) Pavard and finds the aptly named Goodwin, alone like solitude, for the opener, while the Munich defender trots behind as if he were tap dancing on the beach in Ibiza. At that time, honestly, we saw each other on the plane on the evening of the third match against Tunisia. Too many contrary signs, too many scoumounes, there are things against which we cannot fight.
And suddenly, the Duke. Author of a less average start to the match, Adrien Rabiot arose to catapult a cross from Théo Hernandez with a header, which came into play in place of the brother, and put the Blues back in the match (27th). A goal in the form of an electroshock. A goal to bury the curse with big shovels in the Qatari desert and turn luck around. A click, a real one. In the aftermath, the Blues are as if liberated and the Duke allows himself the luxury of scratching a very high ball before overflowing and serving Giroud on a cushion sewn with gold thread. 2-1, the Mondial des Bleus has just started. Now sure of their strength, the French let go and investigate the goals. Mbappé first, with a header (yes, yes) on a center from Dembélé, then Giroud, now top scorer in the history of the Blues tied with Thierry Henry, on a center from Kyky.
A group is born. If everything was not perfect on Tuesday – like this icy stadium, both in terms of atmosphere and air conditioning – that the automation still needs to be fine-tuned and that some players will have to quickly get up to speed level of others (we think in particular of Pavard and Tchouaméni), we would be cheeky to be choosy. Especially if we remember the mug offered four years earlier in Russia against these same Australians, which did not prevent us from being crowned in the end. Given the many glitches that have gotten in the way of the Blues in recent weeks, this success could well act as a particle accelerator in this unprepared World Cup. Without going so far as to say that a team was born on Tuesday evening, let’s bet at least that an esprit de corps took shape before our eyes. And yet we were starting from afar.