the World Cup every day

The corner of the Blues

If the streets of Doha start out empty, the media activities of the French team attract more people. This is the law of the genre: the last approach, the supporters of the eliminated teams leave and the journalists gather around those who remain. It was therefore necessary to add seats for passages on the stage of Raphaël Varane and Jules Koundé, attendants at the press conference. The two defenders took care to dissolve the language elements in Morocco, a group that ” deserves respect “and is” more surprising », as Didier Deschamps said in front of them.

Since the start of the World Cup, Walid Regragui’s team has scored only one goal, ” and again at his side “, said Koundé, very fair when it comes to the details of the defensive organization “. To defend is to know how to communicate, end of the central defender of Barça which ensures that the position of the right side feels better and better. It is an art that we tend to underestimate. “Or at least in control: they scored a goal in each of the five matches.

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Also read – Writer Leïla Slimani: “Long live Morocco! »

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At the Al-Bayt stadium, where they beat England, the Blues will play because of the popular support enjoyed by the Moroccan selection. Will there be more than 4,000 Blues fans? It is possible because ticketless fans can now enter Qatar. To get their Hayya card that serves as a visa, they still have to show proof of residence and pay 500 riyals (130 euros).

Monday, after a day off, the French team returned to their semi-finals with an early evening practice. Aurélien Tchouaméni and Dayot Upamecano stayed in the room. Noël Le Graët spent his head and chatted with Deschamps, who is nearing the end of his contract.

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program on Tuesday

Argentina-Croatia (8 p.m., TF1 and BeIN)

Lessons of the day

He is “the other” Lionel. In the shadow of Lionel Messi. Also in the shadow of his assistants (Pablo Aimar, Roberto Ayala, Walter Samuel) who had a more brilliant career than him. A lot of real considerations but not affecting Lionel Scaloni, hours before the semi-final of the World Cup. ” All questions that have nothing to do with the match, I don’t think about because it won’t help to win “, the Argentine DT was evacuated (for” technical director, name given to the coach on the other side of the Atlantic). So, Croatia? ” A group, in the noble sense of the term, that will make us suffer. “How?” Don’t ask me to name its strengths and weaknesses, but we reviewed it in depth. “Only concession:” I don’t think she ever changes the way she plays. »

In Qatar, the former Deportivo La Coruna midfielder learned some lessons. 1. “ We know how to lose and we know how to win » ; 2. “ Messi didn’t surprise me because I know him and he always plays here » ; 3. “ A very long extra time creates insecurity for the leading team “.

On this ground, Nicolas Tagliafico beat him. ” We are not machines, we feel emotions during battles. This is what happens when two teams chase their dreams “, Nicely summed up the defender of Olympique Lyonnais, holder expected due to the suspension of the side Montiel and Acuna. Before the match in Lusail, Tagliafico warned: ” I want to suffer to defend this jersey, I want to enter the pitch behind Messi because he motivates us and gives us strength. “A soul supplement that worsened against the Netherlands but, according to him, can provide” another scenario against the world vice-champions.

Croatian victory

Everyone has the right to dream “: this is the mantra of Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic, who thinks that his country has set an example for other countries that have not been identified so far, like Morocco here. These “mission” countries are not satisfied. Four years ago, ” the dream did not come true “, the French got the Croats from their dream in the last (4-2). The film has similar plans, it remains to change the end credits.

To get back to Sunday’s final in Lusail, there’s a big, big hurdle to overcome. So, a balance of power to be installed. The string was threaded but since it was worthless, Dalic tied it around the necks of the opponents: ” Argentina is under more pressure than us. “The tiredness of two consecutive extensions? ” We don’t feel it. Argentina’s provocations at the end of the quarter against the Netherlands? ” Thoughts that have little to do with football, Dalic said. I hope it doesn’t happen against us. »

On the other hand, and this is a shame, neither Dalic nor Perisic answered the question of the day, asked by a colleague of Croatian blood that, according to him, flowed through the veins of a Diego Maradona. The hypothesis stirred the world press which, according to a survey of the area conducted in our row of the auditorium of the Qatar National Convention Center, surprised 100% of those present. Those who regret that a press conference rhymes with boredom – no, we will not name the journalist sleeping in the seat in front of us – can no longer say this.

Seen in Qatar

Due to the heavy traffic, Doha is not a city to run. Except for pedestrian crossings, of course. Confused by very slow signage and traffic directions we still don’t understand after a month – a swipe from right to left, then diagonally, then right again, etc. – pedestrians who refused to wait five minutes for the green man (yes, we timed it) started running on the four lanes that pass through the districts of the capital. It has almost become a sign of recognition between careless crossroads.

Also read – Beckham, Ronaldo, Djorkaeff … Welcome to the very important people of the World Cup in Qatar

Traffic direction always, in today’s metro. The hurrying Parisian could no longer bear the traffic jams on the escalators which consisted of passengers who did not line up on the side but were planted in the middle with an air of indifference. It’s not bad if the escalator isn’t slow motion at all. We will miss everything about the Qatari underground network – the cleanliness, the frequency of the trains, the politeness – but certainly not these traffic jams. Back in France, however, we know it won’t take twenty-four hours to regret Doha’s resorts.

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