Les Bleues want to write a new page in their history. Against Germany, the France team will play its first European semi-final on Wednesday July 27. A major milestone and a great novelty for a team accustomed to the top places in the world rankings, but rarely to great success in major competitions.
“It’s a Euro semi-final, something we don’t know yet”conceded Wendie Renard at a press conference on Tuesday evening. Faced with this particular meeting, the stakes are changing. “The attitude changes, you have to play smart, control your emotions, don’t panic”summarized the captain of the Blue. Ten years ago, she was already part of the adventure in the last French semi-final in a major competition, at the London Games (defeat against Japan, 1-2).
After playing their first four games in Rotherham, the French group is taking up residence this time at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, north London. “It’s up to us to prepare well for this match, to get to know this place that we don’t know”explained coach Corinne Deacon. “Obviously it adds excitement and novelty (…) We will take our marks”approved his captain.
MK Stadium️#ProudToBeBlues #WEURO22 pic.twitter.com/SOJHBli2An
— French Women’s Team (@equipedefranceF) July 26, 2022
But the unknowns stop there. Les Bleues do not intend to hide behind inexperience before approaching the meeting. “We have young players in this group who have already made semi-finals and finals”recalled Corinne Deacon, brushing aside questions about the ability of her workforce to apprehend the meeting. “It also offends our two Champions League teams [Lyon et le PSG] who are also used to making semis and finals. Excuse me, but they are used to it”, she added.
Novices at this stage of the competition in the blue jersey, the French do not intend to give in to nervousness. “My players have no doubts, they are confident (…) There is no concern on our side, there has been no psychological work, there is no need for it”Assaulted Corinne Deacon. His players prepared for the meeting like the previous ones. The coach does not intend to change her game plan: “We will try to score quickly, to seek efficiency in both surfaces. I have ideas in mind, we are also trying to anticipate on our side any plans from Germany to block us.”
Because it is indeed a major opponent who stands in the way of the French. Double world champions in 2003 and 2007, eight times at the top of Europe, the Germans are like scarecrows. “When you look at the record of the German team and ours, in terms of experience and lived experience, we are facing two great nations, but for the moment, it is blank for us”recognized Wendie Renard.
Germany did not concede a goal at #WEURO2022 ❌ pic.twitter.com/FIwwa6VoOm
— UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 (@WEURO2022) July 21, 2022
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s players made an impressive start to the competition. Undefeated, they have still not conceded a single goal, while the France team has already suffered defensively and lacked efficiency offensively. But the Blues do not want to be impressed. “It will be difficult, a real fight, but I think they are not very happy to fall on us either”estimated Wendie Fox. What create the surprise and continue to write their beautiful story? Response Wednesday evening.