France’s male squad hadn’t competed in the Olympics since 1996, thus the country intended to send its top players.
France’s men’s Olympic team coach, Sylvain Ripoll, had hoped to take players like Kylian Mbappe, Eduardo Camavinga, Houssem Aouar, and Amine Gouiri with them to Japan for the summer Olympics.
A. Caci Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Instead, Ripoll’s squad was cobbled together at the last minute since Europe’s biggest clubs aren’t willing to allow their best players go after Euro 2020 and before the new season starts in less than a month.
Les Bleus will proceed to the Games without Mbappe, without any superstars, and with a slew of unfamiliar faces, where they will face Mexico, South Africa, and hosts Japan in the group stage.
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Teji Savanier, a midfielder for Montpellier, was at a campsite in the south of France having an aperitif when his phone called. Ripoll was the one who picked up the phone.
“I was overjoyed to hear him, yet it took me by surprise. Actually, I was completely unprepared for it.
To be honest, I never imagined that I’d be representing France at the Olympics “Last week, during a press conference, Savanier explained it to ESPN. It’s a dream come true for him, perhaps more than anyone else.
Savanier, who Turns 30 in December, is Regarded as One of Ligue 1’s most Talented Players.
The midfielder is a passing genius who is underappreciated since he has always seen football as a hobby rather than a career.
He has never been the type to set lofty goals for himself; instead, he has always played for a club close to his home, even if that meant playing in lower leagues (Arles, Nimes and Montpellier.) Indeed, he and his entire family are still residing in the same Montpellier housing project where he did.
He’s as unremarkable a footballer as you’ll ever meet, but now Savanier has a chance to represent his country at a major tournament.
Savanier was selected by Ripoll alongside two stars who are now competing in Liga MX, despite the fact that players in the men’s Olympic event must be under the age of 23, with the exception of three over-age participation.
After helping France win the 2018 World Cup, 28-year-old striker Florian Thauvin hasn’t played for his country since 2019, while 35-year-old forward Andre-Pierre Gignac was on the squad that lost the 2016 Euro final to Portugal.
“Tigres, thank God, exist. What we would have done if we didn’t have them is a mystery to us “ESPN was informed this by an insider in the French team’s camp.
Although the Liga MX Apertura began on July 22, the Mexican club was more than willing to let their players leave.
Since Joining Tigres from Marseille in 2015, Gignac has been Phenomenal.
He has scored 149 goals in 261 games and helped the club win three Apertura championships, one Clausura championship, three Campeon de Campeones trophies, and the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League.
The talented winger Thauvin signed with him for free after his contract with Marseille expired at the end of the previous season, and the two teams want to achieve similar success this year.
A chance to play at the Olympics was too wonderful to pass up, but it’s only a coincidence that France’s first game is against Mexico on July 22.
The rest of France’s roster is stacked with colourful personalities and, most importantly, skill. Not all of the players will be household names, but they all care deeply about representing their country in their national shirt.
For Instance, Consider Enzo Le Fee.
The 21-year-old Lorient midfielder has had a difficult life but is full of promise. His father, Jeremy Lampriere, spent several years in prison for various violent and drug-related offences as well as for carrying a firearm.
He was raised by his mother and grandmother (he was born in her house because she could not afford to provide a home for him), and after Enzo got his first professional contract, he bought them all a mansion.
Yet, in April of last year, at the age of 41, his father sadly took his own life after having been released from prison.
Modibo Sagnan, 22, was one of the surprises of La Liga with Real Sociedad last season, while Lucas Tousart, 24, a defensive midfielder for Hertha Berlin, and Paul Bernardoni, 24, a goalie for Angers, will be valuable additions to the team.
Meanwhile, France has sent its top talents from the 2002 generation, including Isaac Lihadji (Lille), Timothee Pembele (PSG), and Nathanael Mbuku (Reims).
Randal Kolo Muani, then only 22 years old, scored a brace at the Parc des Princes against PSG during a breakout season in Ligue 1 with Nantes.
He scored twice in the 2-1 win over South Korea in the warmup match last week, with Anthony Caci assisting both goals, and Mbuku scoring the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.
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Seven of the 22 Players on the Roster are Locals of the City of Paris:
Muani, Mbuku, Bernardoni, Pembele, Sagnan, Alexis Beka Beka, and Arnaud Nordin. Paris will host the next Olympic Games in 2024, and you can guarantee that Mbappe, who will be 25 at the time, would want to participate in his hometown event.
Unknown French players have a shot of joining him if they seize their opportunity this summer.