VSIt is not often that there are friendly matches between European national teams against African counterparts. This means that the matches between the French team against Côte d’Ivoire on March 25 and against South Africa on March 29 will be followed with great interest. Encouraging assessment: that of Didier Deschamps on the Ivory Coast in the context of an interview granted to Annie Gasnier and Antoine Grognet of Radio France internationale. “Côte d’Ivoire has a lot of talent,” said the coach of the Blues, who expects there to be “respondent” on the side of the Vélodrome this evening. “Many players have gone through the French Championship, or are still playing there,” he added, before continuing: “For them, wearing the jersey of their national team against the France team , it generally brings them an increase in motivation and determination, if needed. This is a point of view that will not fail to please the side of the Ivorian players, and in particular of its captain Serge Aurier impatient to face the Blues. While the Elephants do not have their ticket to Qatar, the defender of the Spanish team of Villareal indicated that this kind of friendly match against France, “these are high level matches that every footballer likes to play, with players we all know. And to continue: “It’s a bit our World Cup to us. »
France-Côte d’Ivoire: a match to enjoy for Aurier and Baumelle
For the former Paris-Saint-Germain player, “there is no need to motivate a professional player for this kind of match”. “Those who arrive will have big eyes, but it must not be a pressure game. On the contrary, we must reassure them and take pleasure, ”he added.
For coach Patrice Beaumelle, in view of the two upcoming matches, against France this evening and against England on Tuesday, the Ivory Coast group is “complete” with its 25 players. “These posters, at the Vélodrome and at Wembley, I see them as a closure of the past two years and as an opening to the future, with the ambition of showing that Ivorian football does honor to these meetings”, indicated the French, out of contract next month. “France are a formidable team,” he added. And to specify: “When it is faced with the game and picks up speed, talent makes the difference. It is perhaps the best in the world in the offensive aspects, so we will have to be careful. “There will be a few absentees, notably Karim Benzema, but France have such reservations that if it’s not one, it’s the other,” he noted.
In the eyes of Serge Aurier, as if to echo Patrice Baumelle, “the defense of Côte d’Ivoire will have to be particularly wary of Kylian Mbappé, one or one of the best players in the world. Over two or three huge seasons, he is progressing. And to conclude: “Even with a Paris in difficulty, he is doing well. He always wants to go as high as possible. This shows that the Elephants are aware of the challenge they will have to face on March 25 to get out of their heads the annoying African Cup of Nations they played in Cameroon last January. As a reminder, after being flamboyant in the group phase, they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Egypt (0-0, 4-5 on pens) despite a squad including Éric Bailly, Sébastien Haller, Wilfried Zaha and even Nicolas Pepe. And if this France-Côte d’Ivoire was already the hour of the revolt of Ivorian football?