International press review: “France, the team that everyone wants to see lose in the semi-finals”

The self-esteem of fans and French football will no doubt suffer, but the international press of the day only has eyes and words for the exploits of Messi and Argentina. The France-Morocco semi-final will be for tomorrow… especially if the Atlas Lions take out the Blues. We are not sure, then, that the world of football is too upset.

This is the meaning of Charlotte Harpur’s column on the site The Athletic : “A thought for France, the team that everyone wants to see lose in the semi-finals… apart from the French of course. It’s not that the English are bitter after their quarter-final defeat, it’s just that everyone prefers the underdogs. The defending champion is the clear favorite to reach the final. But, being neutral, how can you not support, as Moroccan coach Walid Regragui dubbed it, “the Rocky of this World Cup”? »

In Rabat, the Moroccan capital, Opinion is ready : “With the steel mind and the tactical device of which Walid Regragui is the master architect, in addition to the unconditional support of the Moroccan and Arab public, we have, we are convinced, all the assets to seal the match in our favor. . »

And write a page of history. This is the theme developed by the generalist Italian daily La Stampa“Late to the finish line of history, the long crossing of Africa” – which describes, from the pen of Giulia Zonca, “the tortuous path, from the first point won in 1970 against Bulgaria, which will now reach its peak”. For his part, Antonio Barilla mentions, in connection with the match, “a chapter of history, social, cultural and political […] it is normal that this poster is covered with deep meanings, that we evoke colonialism, the sufferings of migrations, but behind all this, at the base, there is a rolling ball and a dream to be realized”.

On the front page of the Italian sports press, eclipsed by Messi, France-Morocco is satisfied with the crumbs with each time a photo of Mbappé and one of his opponents of the day. “Ball to Mbappé”title The Gazzetta dello Sport. The French star must pierce the super wall of Morocco”, an obstacle illustrated by Sofyan Amrabat. For Tuttosportwho chose to pit the Frenchman against Youssef En-Nesyri, “Morocco prays, France trembles”. As to Corriere dello Sporthe does in the classic with the duel of the friends of the PSG: “Mbappé put to the test of Morocco” and therefore of Achraf Hakimi.

France facing the Moroccan “wall”

Same duel in Spain on the front page of ace and same spirit: “The champion against a wall”, “France on the way to its second consecutive final against a Morocco which conceded only one goal”, “Rocky against Goliath”. For brandMbappé illustrates the poster of the day with Sofyan Amrabat and this choice: “Logical or heroic”, “The roosters want to play a second consecutive final, the Moroccans want to become legends”.

And the French can be wary of themselves, as Antonin Besner reminds us in Canada on RDS : “The danger for the Blues will of course be overconfidence and arrogance. To unlock the Moroccan padlock, France can count on two of the most decisive players, Mbappé and Giroud. Faced with a resolutely defensive team, the Blues will also have to be careful behind, they who have conceded a goal in each of their five games..

In Belgium, on the RTBFPascal Scimè also invites the Atlas Lions to distrust: “Les Bleus can have a difficult game to play for Moroccans. The only team that has put Morocco in difficulty in this World Cup is Croatia, a team that has roughly the same characteristics as France. The Moroccans had more “ease” against more playful teams like Spain, Portugal which deprived them of balls but especially took from above “.

We also talk about tactics in Argentina where The Nation reminds that “France and Morocco reached the semi-finals defying football orthodoxy; for them possession is a waste of time. […] The Blues plan barely goes through the ball. They retreat, let their opponents get ahead of them, and attack with devastating effect. Morocco, their rivals on Wednesday, do it too, but only because the underdogs rarely have many options”.

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International press review: “France, the team that everyone wants to see lose in the semi-finals”


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