You know the famous adage “And in the end it’s Germany who wins“? It has long been verified for the French women’s football team. As the Blues prepare to face the Germans in the semi-final of the Euro, Wednesday July 27, in Milton Keynes (England), the balance of power may seem unequal.
>> Euro 2022: what you need to know about Germany, which faces France in the semi-finals
Eight times European champions out of 10 appearances, the Germans have won their last six semi-finals of a Euro since 1993. 2015 – 5-4 victory on penalties in the quarter-finals -, the record of the Blue is very thin, with only one victory in nine games.
But that was before 2016: before this Olympic gold medal in Rio which seems to have brought bad luck to the Germans. Because the following year, during the European Championship, they came out of the quarter by Denmark. Ditto at the 2019 World Cup, where the Germans are eliminated by Sweden. And since then, they have been beaten two out of three times by the French, the last of which in Strasbourg in June 2021.
With this semi-final of the Euro, the Blue are at an international level never reached in their history. Corinne Deacon, the coach, also refuses to call her team inexperienced. If captain Wendie Renard is to date the only tricolor player to have played in a semi-final in the France A team, many French women have however had this experience in the blue jersey in the young categories: “We have young players in this group, who have already made the semi-finals and finals. I think it also offends our two Champions League teams who are used to make semis and finals. So excuse me, but they are used to it”tackles the coach.
It must indeed be said that within the French selection, nine players – five from Lyon and four from Paris – were present in the last four of the last Champions League. Others, like Montpellier’s Charlotte Bilbault, want to take advantage of the moment without worrying: “Obviously, we are happy, it’s the last four.”
“I’m 32, I’m at the end of my career, I want to take advantage of the present moment. We have a quality group. Yes, I’m hungry.”Charlotte Guibault
Anyway, this semi-final is not an end in itself, continues French captain Wendie Renard: “The young players who are there, they have a lot of maturity, they also have a lot of experience and they want to win a title with our beautiful national jersey.”
This time, it’s time: and in the end, it’s Les Bleues who must win… to play their first final in a major competition. It would be Sunday July 30 at Wembley against English “Lionesses” who devoured Sweden.