France’s 1-0 victory over Germany, in Munich, convinced them to enter the competition at Euro 2021, Bixente Lizarazu. The Franceinfo football consultant emphasizes the impressive team, defensive, offensive and mental strength, as well as the great Paul Pogba, the player of the match by UEFA.
franceinfo: coach Didier Deschamps said of this match between France and Germany that it was a “match of the titans”, which does not necessarily reflect the outcome…
Bixente Lizarazu: I didn’t expect 4-2. In a competitive first match, there is a lot of tension. These are two great teams who doubt each other. There weren’t many opportunities. It is true that this France team has a style very similar to that of the 2018 World Cup. The romantics must have been disappointed, but the pragmatists are happy, because this France team is very difficult. She made very few mistakes, never gave up and made far fewer mistakes than the Germans. Not many teams are able to disrupt this France team. The team that plays against France will automatically lose. I don’t see at the moment a profile that can stop Team France from going too far in this competition.
When you talk about the “2018 Profile”, the world champion France, does that mean that she can control and have the ball, shoot less than her opponent, but have to be more surgical?
Yes, dominate in possession [62% pour l’Allemagne], you may also have controlled the number of shots [10 contre 4 pour les Bleus]. But on the other hand, who is my surgeon, he will not miss his chance and who will be very good in defense. The blues left nothing for the Germans, and they had few chances. After that, the French team was able to take advantage of every small opportunity. It frustrates the attackers! We have talked a lot about this trio of Benzema, Mbappe and Griezmann, but they are not having fun. We can imagine that we will probably play more with Benzema’s contribution. But the slightest chance was danger. Besides, the German target is one of its own. Mats Hummels is under pressure, behind him is Mbappe. He freaks out, makes a nasty gesture and scores the goal in his camp net. We’ve actually retained the strength we made in 2018. Team strength, defensive strength, discipline. There are very few teams that have this team discipline, except perhaps Portugal. Mental toughness is impressive, too. I was a bit worried, this offensive power could have caused an imbalance in our defensive plan. Didier Deschamps thoroughly analyzed and corrected this. So, if we maintain this defensive strength while we are stronger offensively, it will be difficult to stop us.
You say the attackers weren’t a feast. On the other hand, a man enjoyed himself on the grass, it’s midfielder Paul Pogba. man of the match?
Yes, he is the man of the match. I do not like highlighting individuality, and the result is associated with a global collective service. But it is true that he was very strong in the position of passers-by. It is often the source of the sharp passes, the one that makes the difference and allows the attacker to be in a shooting position. His playing size and technical quality allow him to keep the ball, surrounded by two or three players pressing on him. He did, as we say in our linguistic parlance, a “master class.” Paul Pogba has been very, very great. The irony is that it’s in his club [Manchester United]He hasn’t fed since the 2018 World Cup. We haven’t seen the great Paul Pogba. And every time he wears the France shirt, he’s very good. Manchester should regret it, but it often is with Paul Pogba.