From our special correspondent in Rotherham,
Facing the Oranje, breaking the strange mechanics
4 HOURS AGO
If any player on this team wants to end this debate, it’s her. Renard will have been part of all the past disappointments, from Euro 2013 in Sweden to the 2019 World Cup in France. Under Bruno Bini, under Philippe Bergeroo, under Olivier Echouafni then under Corinne Deacon, always the same refrain: so close, so far. Back on these five matches that still haunt the Blue.
Les Bleues in the quarter-finals – a curse that lasts
Credit: Quentin Guichard
Euro 2013: The Danish heartbreaker
Final score: 1-1 (4-2 on pens)
The London 2012 Olympics ushered in a new era. Despite a frustrating 4th place for Bruno Bini’s Les Bleues, victory over Sweden in the quarterfinals convinced the group that they could look the best nations in the eye. In this regard, Euro 2013 must mark, at least, a confirmation if not an increase.
In the group stage, Les Bleues impress. England was crushed (3-0) in the last group match to conclude a perfect first part of the tournament (9 points). Having become a starter, Wendie Renard impresses and begins to make people talk about her with her ability to score. In the quarters, it’s a miraculous Danish team that comes up against Les Bleues. Third in their group with two small points, the teammates of the promising Nadia Nadim are fished out thanks to… a draw.
Inevitably, the Blues have the sign behind their backs. Yet it is with contagious shyness that they start their quarter, cashing an avoidable opener. If Louise Necib manages to put the two nations on the same level, the French, despite a clear domination, fail to score this decisive goal. The penalty shoot-out arrives: Louisa Necib and Sabrina Delannoy fail in their attempt, Bruno Bini’s troops return home. First slap, not the last…
- What Bruno Bini said about it : “On the match, we do not deserve to be eliminated, even if we have 35 bad first minutes. […] Shots on goal, it’s a shot for some, a shot for others“.
The distress of the Blue contrasts with the joy of the Danes during this quarter-final of Euro 2013
Credit: Getty Images
2015 World Cup: Bis repetita against Germany
Final score: 1-1 (5-4 on pens)
Bruno Bini is gone, it is Philippe Bergeroo who takes control of a team with strong OL and PSG connotations. Without being favorites, the French arrive in Canada with “a lot of ambition“. They would be wrong to believe the opposite. In the group stage, Les Bleues managed to come out first despite a surprise defeat against Colombia (0-2). In the round of 16, South Korea did not measure up (3 -0) Then comes Germany, European reference with eight crowns but also double world champions.
However, on the ground, it is the French who take the game in hand. Carried by an untenable Louisa Necib, they think they hold the feat before a generous penalty is awarded to the Germans, on a hand from Amel Majri at the end of the match (83rd). In extra time, Gaëtane Thiney misses the inevitable, alone in front of goal, and the Bleues find themselves again in a penalty shootout.
This time, the French shots are almost perfect. Until the young but promising Claire Lavogez (21) finished the session. His shot is repelled by the German goalkeeper and it is the Mannschaft der Frauen who qualify for the last four, where they will implode against the United States.
- What Philippe Bergeroo said about it : “There are 11 players from this group who will be there in 2019. It is essential to learn that dominating is not winning. You have to quickly learn the things that make matches win. I feel so sorry for these girls. Some have fallen two or three times. It’s very complicated for them tonight, and it’s not easy for me“.
Claire Lavogez in tears in the arms of Philippe Bergeroo
Olympic Games 2016: Bergeroo’s anger
Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Revanchists, the Blue are after the scenario of 2015. In Brazil, the hopes of a medal are real and amplified by their performances in hens. The Tricolores only yielded by a small goal against Team USA, huge favorites for the final victory and managed to rally the quarters without too much trouble. Against Canada, there is a card to play… but the players of a disappointed Philippe Bergeroo will not play it (0-1).
Beaten in commitment, in envy, and above all unable to rebel after the opener of the Canadian score, the French leave the competition with their heads down with the feeling that something is ending, like the announced departure of Louisa Necib. In a press conference, Bergeroo uses very harsh words against his players. For him too, the adventure will end there.
- What Bergeroo said : “This team lacks fire in important moments. In three years, when we were behind in the score, we only came back once. We can’t get past this level. After the goal, we foiled. This generation will have paid for all their mental problems“.
Eugénie Le Sommer at the 2016 Olympics
Credit: Getty Images
Euro 2017: Missed match against the English
Quarter-final France – England
Final score: 0-1
Hastily appointed by Noël Le Graët to replace Philippe Bergeroo, whose remarks had touched the locker room, Olivier Echouafni recovers an almost impossible mission: to build in eight months a selection capable of finally overcoming the curse and winning a major international tournament. . It is on the strength of an unbeaten streak of 11 matches that the French women arrive in the Netherlands with the firm intention of going all the way.
But, so attractive during the She Believes Cup, the France team purrs and struggles in the game. Les Bleues finish second in their group and inherit England in the quarters. Deprived of Wendie Renard, suspended, the Tricolores are surprised on the counter after a loss of the ball by Eugénie Le Sommer. Unable to return despite a few situations, they left the Netherlands with a bitter taste and the feeling, again, of having been missed (0-1).
- What Olivier Echouafni said about it : “For ten months, you should know that this is our first defeat. Our series ended tonight maybe at the wrong time. The idea is that it starts again even more beautiful.”
Olivier Echouafni in the middle of his players after the elimination in the quarter-finals at the Euro
Credit: Getty Images
World Cup 2019: The USA to spoil the party
Final score: 1-2
This World Cup at home has been on the minds of all FFF employees for years. It must be a party, a magnificent promotion of women’s football but above all a way to surf on a new craze to finally take a step forward. In this mission, Noël Le Graët ended up snatching Corinne Deacon from Clermont to appoint her as coach. The beginnings are statistically successful but the French coach makes strong and symbolic decisions that will mark the group, like this armband removed from Wendie Renard.
Despite a game that was not always flamboyant, Les Bleues managed to win their three group matches before dismissing Brazil in the round of 16. It is therefore the long-awaited quarter-final against Team USA, the nation that reigns over women’s football, which is looming at the Parc des Princes. Popular enthusiasm is real, sporting disappointment too. Despite dominating late in the game, Les Bleues never seemed in control to overthrow the United States. Rapinoe offers a double and showers the Parc des Princes (1-2).
Regrets are eternal for a team that absolutely wanted to be crowned at home. Double punishment: the group worries put under the carpet so as not to spoil the party end up coming out in the open and offer a major crisis to the tricolor troupe between 2020 and 2022. Amandine Henry, Sarah Bouhaddi, Gaëtane Thiney and Eugénie Le Sommer will end up by disappearing from the tricolor lists.
- What Corinne Deacon said about it : “It’s a sporting failure, we must not hide. We played the United States, anyway, tonight. I’m not going to look for excuses, it’s not the kind of house. But playing the United States in the quarters, when we are host country, we cannot say that it is a gift anyway“.
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