TOPSHOT - France's forward Olivier Giroud reacts to the defeat in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 football match between France and Switzerland at the National Arena in Bucharest on June 28, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / POOL / AFP)

With the football community grooving to “RAMANEZ A LA COUPE A LA MAISON” by “VEGEDREAM” after the 2018 World Cup it was certain that France, the World Champions have a team to beat. Each position in the squad is occupied by dexterous players. A strike force of Mbappe, Dembele, Benzema, Giroud, Antoine the list just goes on and on and on……A midfield comprising of the Paul Pogba, Kante, Coman, Rabiot is what every club can only dream of!! And at the back they are firmly held with Matuidi, Umtiti, Kimpembe, Varane and Pavard. The team is so good that Rami, Nzonzi are struggling to get a place!! 

But what happened to this illustrious squad at the Euros? This team which seems absolutely unbeatable failed to qualify even in the top 4 of Europe? So, here’s a quick account of what possibly went wrong: – 

Overdependence on Mbappe: –  

The “Wonder Boy from Paris” as he is known Kylian Mbappe was France’s marquee player. But have you ever wondered how immense this pressure can be for a 22-year-old? 2018 was different as he was young, free spirited and didn’t have the burden of expectation but this time around the pressure seems to have taken the better of him!! A player who has scored absolute screamers, who has made exquisite runs, and is a maestro of scoring misses a crucial penalty in the Round of 16…this will definitely be a difficult pill to swallow for young Kylian. 


On pitch differences: – 

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” this very common idiom sums up the case for France. During the game it was seen that Rabiot, Varane, Pavard and Pogba had altercations. The defense line certainly seemed unhappy with Pogba’s defensive duties. Although Pogba had a transcendence tournament with all the silky-smooth through balls and passes, it is was visible that defensively Pogba’s contribution was negligible. Pavard and Varane too had differences on the pitch. The negative energy in the team was more than evident. 

Conceding early goals and relying on counter attacks: – 

Not always will a team be able to pull the game back after conceding a goal, isn’t it? Such a defeat was just about at the door step of France considering that the team relied severely on counter attacks and failed to find feet in the early minutes of the game. How many times will Mbappe make a dream run with the ball or how many times will Paul Pogba score a screamer for you? How many times will Ngolo win the ball for you? France lost their touch of 2018 and constantly failed to find their feet in the beginning. Also, having an attack heavy squad leads to conceding goals. Didier Deschamps, France’s manager definitely had a strategy while picking the final 18 as managers generally go for a defense heavy squad. However, the plan didn’t come out as planned. 


To conclude, I would say that it wasn’t such a comprehensive defeat. It was just a matter of Touch and Go. If only Kylian could have got the penalty in or if only the Swiss keeper jumped the wrong way!!! France don’t need a complete revamp, rather just require the players to establish a great harmonic and have a sense of mutual respect, keeping aside their egos. And last but not the least I would quote, “The failure which doesn’t you makes you only stronger”