But what is this curse of the blues in penalties?
Yes, it’s much, much easier said than done. Especially at the end of the World Cup final, the indescribable France – Argentina (3-3, 2-4 on penalties) shows in a way that even the brightest screenwriter of Bollywood would not dare to suggest. But when Randal Kolo Muani failed Emiliano Martinez at the end of extra-time, we told ourselves that the Blues could not win this Sunday, despite the unreal smell washing over Lusail Stadium.
Why? Because experienced shooters like Olivier Giroud or Antoine Griezmann were out for years, their teams seemed ready to take a good game rather than go from 0-2 to 2-2, then back from 2-3 to 3-3. After the defeat against Switzerland (3-3, 5-4) in the round of 16 of the Euros last year, courtesy of Kylian Mbappe, who scored two penalties in the match, then a shot on goal. But also because Hugo Lloris.
Now the captain of the former world champions, the national cap record holder (145), is an excellent goalkeeper and has missed a competition and even a final that his uncertain start to the season does not necessarily suggest. But when the decisive hour comes, when he faces a shooter 11 meters away from him, his cage looks huge for his size (1.88m, 82kg), while Argentina’s Martinez is certainly bigger and more massive (1.95m). , 85 kg) takes up all the space.
Martinez is already decisive in the 1/4 finals
After a decisive quarter-final against the Netherlands (two Dutch attempts saved), a match with an intriguingly comparable scenario to this final (2-2, 4-3 on penalties), Aston Villa keeper pushed back Kingsley Coman’s effort, forcing Aurélien Tchouamé to shoot wide did Tottenham took it all, giving the same sense of helplessness as during Switzerland’s Euro 2021 upset.
Or Fabien Barthez after the 2006 World Cup final against Italy (1-1, 5-3 draw). Or even further than Jean-Luc Ettori, even if we forget what Monegasque did at the end of a suffocating semi-final against AFR during the 1982 World Cup (3-3, 5-4). Save Uli Stiliken’s attempt.
The statistics are dire: France have conceded the last 14 shots on goal during the World Cup or the Euros. You have to go back to Aimé Jacquet’s rise to stardom in the Blues’ 1998 quarter-final win against the Squadra Azzurri (0-0, 4-3 in pens) to find traces of failure: Luigi, whose shot was saved by Bartez from Demetrio Albertini Di Biagio to the crossbar.
“I will stand in front of Albertini? I believe that the penalty saved by the goalkeeper is first of all a poorly scored penalty! “, on the FIFA website, about the only French victory in the penalty shootout in the history of the World Cup, in the quarter-finals against Brazil in 1986 (1-1, 4-3), will release long after the divine baldness.
Unfortunately, this Sunday’s motto remains the motto of French goalkeepers, prompting Blues supporters to pray that the opposition player is ready to open his shot at the crucial moment. But for 24 years, whether it’s Trezeguet in 2006, Mbappe in 2021 or Coman and Tchouaméni today, the mistake always comes from our camp. Didier Deschamps always considered this exercise a lottery and did not start it before the round of 16, for example, against Poland and its alleged iron curtain (3-1). The lottery you lose every time.