T The pursuit of harmony has been the cornerstone of Didier Deschamps. Reign as ruler of France. The 1998 World Cup-winning captain has repeatedly sought to become a World Cup-winning coach, not by choosing the best players, but by creating a squad defined by the lack of togetherness and cliques and clashing egos. That's why Karim Benzema's men's party 2018 for 26 – Euro was so surprising in the cold after nearly six years. Deschamps' unusually bold decision could destabilize everything he's worked so hard to achieve.
More than most, Deschamps knows the value of a great atmosphere. In recent decades, French society has regularly been divided along racial or religious lines. But the side he captained in 1998 – often referred to as “black, white, beur” or “black, white, Arab” – represented all of France, bringing together a cracked society. "It wasn't about religion or the color of your skin, we didn't care," Zinedine Zidane later said. “We were just together and enjoying the moment.”
By contrast, Raymond Domenech learned at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa how quickly a French team can be destabilized by clashing egos. Various scenes – Patrice Evra confronts assistant coach Robert Duverne; The squad hiding in the team bus to support Nicolas Anelka after his argument with Domenech; It was a national disgrace as the brash-looking coach himself read a team statement condemning the French authorities – as the team came out of the tournament without a win.
Deschamps' 2012, the troublesome effects gradually disappeared. The tactic of placing harmony above all has unquestionably worked. France is world champion and was far from winning Euro 2016. Benzema was absent from both tournaments after the notorious Mathieu Valbuena “sex tape” scandal engulfed the roster and further highlighted the divisions between the players.
His return means a striking confession – I need Deschamps and France Benzema. And it is perhaps even more surprising that Deschamps, despite his success so far, has risked the unity of his camp. “We met, we talked for a long time, then I thought a lot and made this decision,” Deschamps said. I needed this conversation. He needed this conversation. As the national team boss, I always looked beyond my personal situation. My responsibility is important. Bigger than me. ”
One L'Equipe Journalist Some players in the camp were “wildly excited” by Benzema's call, who will do well to avoid a collision with incumbent center forward Olivier Giroud. Compared to Giroud last year, Benzema said: “Don't confuse Formula 1 with karting and I'm fine.”
By the way, the scandal of the sex tape still continues. Benzema. His legal situation deteriorated over time. He will appear in court in October for allegedly mediating between a group of blackmailers and Valbuena, and for pressuring his ex-teammate to pay off the debts of the blackmailers. Benzema, who was dismissed from the France squad after the scandal, accused Deschamps of not choosing him and "complaining under the pressure of a racist part of France".
Just because he's back. The team does not necessarily mean that it will start. No, 19 shirts could be a sign that Giroud will remain first choice. Deschamps remained timid in his team selection. “They played together before,” he thought. “They don't actually get in each other's way. Giroud has been struggling with his club since February. This is real." While Giroud has been marginalized since Thomas Tuchel's arrival at Chelsea, every goal in Premier League and Champions League minutes this season is stronger than Benzema's goal rate in every minute in La Liga and Europe. Giroud's international record is also better.
However, Benzema's quality will be hard to ignore after perhaps the best season of his career. Leaving him out of the original XI would have been odd, after the anger and the risks taken in bringing him back. But Giroud embodies Deschamps' philosophy. A functional, flexible player who put his team and colleagues first, his relentless puppet run and counter pressure created time and space for Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé as France won the World Cup.
Benzema admitted as much as himself: “His style of play suits the French national team very well. It works because it's there, that's the only reason. It's good because there are players like Mbappé or Griezmann who are fast and play in the channels and revolve around the center forward. At the top, he puts weight on defense, which allows the other two to move a lot and show a lot. It blocks and it works. It won't be spectacular, it won't do anything great, but it's got something unique. ”
Benzema has been a talisman for the Club despite being Real Madrid's only reliable source of targets in recent seasons, the same role he's perfected to support Cristiano Ronaldo, with Madrid winning a hat-trick in their Champions League titles. He could do the same for France.
He could deploy both together in the asymmetrical 4-2-3-1 he used in Russia, as Deschamps suggested. Benzema has such a devastating impact on the 2014 World Cup, in a 5-2 win against Switzerland, in partnership with Giroud. 33, but that seems unlikely. While the front three of Griezmann, Mbappé and Benzema are an exciting proposition – a possible 4-3-3 midfielder could unleash Paul Pogba – he may have to earn Benzema's place. His participation with only two warm-up pals can only be reinforced assuming club form continues deep into the tournament.
Although Deschamps admitted “ the list a year ago wouldn't be the list I have today ” their squad continues to be perhaps the strongest and deepest team in the tournament. With nine world champions being kidnapped, Deschamps' first-choice . While their performance has been shaky in recent months, Presnel Kimpembe will start as Raphaël Varane's defensive partner, with Sevilla defenders Jules Koundé and Kurt Zouma in reserve. Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte has again been overlooked, but will almost certainly play in the Spanish tournament.
Neither is Anthony Martial, because his “situation doesn't allow it” has meant that Deschamps, Houssem Aouar and Eduardo Camavinga's recent poor club form have both been neglected. 2018 made a full roster this time and can be used to Deschamps' uneven 4-2-3-1 left, ending his international career after Matuidi joined MLS team Inter Miami. A Deschamps favorite and a key figure in achieving team unity, Moussa Sissoko is still on the roster despite a lack of recent playing time for Tottenham.
Benzema's return could be an inspiring move from Deschamps. Much of the group's 2010 incidents and blackmail scandal are now fading from memory, old divisions may simply have melted away. Mbappé immediately tweeted his support for Benzema, and Giroud reportedly did not object. Other veteran and Madrid teammate Varane will also be a ready confidant for Benzema. It's a risk, but in an open tournament, Benzema's F1 quality may be enough to secure France's pole position to ensure the favorite tournament turns into victory on 10 July.