France hope Euro 2022 will mark the end of their decade-long quarter-final curse
This is the moment they’ve been waiting for. It’s been three years since their quarter-final against USA in the 2019 World Cup. It’s been five years since they lost at the same stage at Euro 2017, losing to England 1- 0, and six years since their Olympic dream ended against Canada in Rio de Janeiro. It’s been seven years since another disappointing last eight outing against Germany at the 2015 World Cup, and nine years since their tough penalty shootout loss to Denmark at Euro 2013.
They have been waiting for a semi-final for 10 years, after a decade in which the quarter-finals were their ceiling. It has become the moment when their dreams of victory disappear and their vacation begins. This year they have had enough now. Captain Wendie Renard looked very frustrated after the last game of the group stage against Iceland (1-1 draw) when she was asked again about this curse. “You (the media) keep telling us about it! We’ll be hearing from you all again this week,” she said with justified tones of anger in her voice.
The whole France camp feels the same, and the players have talked about it a lot among themselves. The dominant theme of their conversations is simple: “It’s our turn to change the narrative and the story.”
– LIVE Stream: France vs Netherlands, Euro 2022, 7/23, 3pm ET, ESPN+
– Lawson: Geyoro makes history as France beat Italy
Most of the veterans on the team were there and lived through some of those disappointments, but they all know them, even if they weren’t involved. There have been penalty shootout losses to Denmark (2013) or Germany (2015) and a string of one-goal defeats in which they played well but not well enough (Canada 2016, England 2017 and United States States in 2019). Renard herself (134 career caps) spoke about it before the tournament.
“We didn’t get past the quarter-finals because we players didn’t do what we should have done or were unlucky,” she told UEFA. com. “However, we must continue to persevere now. Some players and nations have gone through difficult times for many years before claiming a trophy and stepping up a notch. Hopefully it will be our turn this year, but another times, everything will depend on us.”
Corinne Deacon, the blue ones‘, was only responsible for the 2019 game against the Americans, but she knows her pregame speech will be easy to write. make history. The last time France qualified for the semi-finals was also in England, at the 2012 Olympics, and many in the camp see that as a sign. The French also beat the Dutch (3-1) during their last meeting, in February, in a friendly.
Yet there is also the feeling within HQ France that there is no need to over-dramatize Saturday’s game against the Netherlands. It’s a huge opportunity, of course, and it’s a team with the talent, the collective spirit and the potential to reach the last four. And while 10 years might seem like a long time to wait, neither is it. this long. Watch Mexico’s men’s team and their curse of the World Cup round of 16 — the quinto partido. For seven consecutive tournaments (1994-2018), they failed to advance past the round of 16 and qualify for the quarter-finals. It’s a 36-year wait. As a country, they are obsessed with the “fifth game” of the World Cup.
For Renard & Cie, it’s different. They don’t want to put too much pressure on this curse because that’s usually how they would end up failing again. In the 2019 World Cup on home soil, they certainly made that mistake. Before facing the United States at the Parc des Princes in Paris, all talk centered around this ‘curse’, and while Megan Rapinoe and her teammates were too good for them that day, it’s fair to say that the tournament hosts also collapsed. pressure.
Women’s Euros: News and features | Calendar & results | the tables
Similarly, the younger generation – players like Delphine Cascarino, Sandy Baltimore or Melvine Malard – don’t bear the same scars. They haven’t been there that many times before, and it would be a mistake to cloud their minds too much with bad memories of the past before such a big game.
All of this means Deacon, Renard and the rest of the team have a thin line to walk. The right approach and the right headspace could play a big role in the outcome of this game against the Netherlands. If they really learned from their mistakes before and during the previous quarter-finals, they will have the chance to finally qualify for the last four.