Proposed to be written by Jacques Vendroux (special envoy to Qatar), edited by Gauthier Delomez
It’s a situation eerily reminiscent of the 2002 World Cup. Real Madrid star striker Karim Benzema joined the France squad with a left thigh injury for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 20 years ago, Zinédine Zidane also had an injury just before the competition, before France were eliminated prematurely in the first round. While defender Raphaël Varane is also coming out of a serious injury, can this disrupt the preparation of Didier Deschamps’ group in Doha?
“It can, but I think that inside the group, these are things that are clear with the two players”, answers Wendie Renard, captain of the French women’s football team and Europe 1 consultant for the World Cup. in Qatar.
“You have to be very careful”
“They are experienced players, they are no longer 20 years old so they know their bodies. They have a protocol to follow and respect because these are muscle and joint injuries. You have to be very careful,” adds the footballer from Olympique Lyonnais at the microphone of Jacques Vendroux.
From there to evoke a bad sign? Temper by Wendie Renard. “Having experienced it personally, the closer you get, the sooner you hope to find your teammates. I’m not saying it’s a bad sign because from the start, the coach was clear in saying that the two will be ready for the first match. Now we have to see. I have no particular concerns,” added the French international.
What goes through the minds of disabled gamers
To play or not to play this first match, such is a decision that the diminished players must make with the coach, affirms Wendie Renard. “We feel things inside our body, so neither the physical trainer nor the coach can be in our place. When the discomfort persists, we tell ourselves that it’s not normal. Limit, we no longer think in football, we only think about that and all the time, as soon as we make support, we hope that it will be fine, that it will hold”, confides the consultant from Europe 1.
Who tells what state of mind these athletes are in: “We are stopped for several days so we are also starting to ask ourselves questions. Physically, are we going to be on top? Are we going to be ready? All that goes through your head. But the decision is sometimes made on the day of the match. (…) Afterwards, it’s the start of the World Cup and the competition is going to be long. They have the ambition to go as far as possible, so you have to be smart and careful and I think they are,” shared the OL defender with Jacques Vendroux.