Deprived of the Euro because of the health crisis, the French team played 8 matches in 2020. At the end of the day, a quantified assessment of hope for 2021 …
The Blues have only played 8 matches in 2020. Never had they played so little in a calendar year since 1997. These eight matches, six in the Nations League and two friendly, took place between September 5 and November 17 is 73 days.
Six wins, one draw and one defeat: the gross record is largely positive. The Blues conceded their only friendly defeat, against Finland (0-2, November 11) and their only draw against Portugal (0-0, October 11). These two meetings took place at the Stade de France, where they also scored three wins over Ukraine (7-1, October 7), Croatia (4-2, September 8) and Sweden (4-2, November 17)
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Les Bleus won their three away games in Sweden (1-0, September 5), Croatia (2-1, October 14) and Portugal (1-0, November 14), bringing at six their series of successes in competition outside their bases (and outside the finals played on neutral ground). On March 28 in Kazakhstan, in the World Cup qualifiers, they will have the opportunity to equal the victory record achieved between 1999 and 2004 by three different coaches.
The number of goals conceded by the Blues. Hugo Lloris remained undefeated in the two confrontations against Portugal (0-0 in the first leg, 1-0 in return in Lisbon) and in Sweden (1-0 in Solna).
The France team have scored 19 goals in their eight games played in 2020, which makes them the most effective offensive European selection of the year, along with Belgium and Portugal. 17 of the 19 goals were scored by 9 different goal scorers: Olivier Giroud (5), Antoine Griezmann (3), Kylian Mbappé (3), N’Golo Kanté (1), Benjamin Pavard (1), Kingsley Coman (1), Corentin Tolisso (1), Eduardo Camavinga (1), Dayot Upamecano (1). The Ukrainian Mykolenko and the Croatian Livakovic are each author of a goal against their camp.
Photo Simon MORCEL / FFF
Top French scorer in activity, Olivier Giroud took advantage of this fall 2020 to become the second highest scorer in the history of the Blues. By signing a brace on the day of his hundredth selection, against the Ukraine of his idol, Andrei Chevtchenko, the Chelsea center-forward overtook Michel Platini (41 goals). With 44 achievements now, he points to seven units behind Thierry Henry. It should also be noted that Antoine Griezmann, author of three goals between September and November, overtook Zinédine Zidane (31 goals) and is the fifth top scorer for all time. The Barcelona counter shows 33 achievements, that of Kylian Mbappé, 16. An exceptional passage time: at 22, the Parisian is already part of the top 20 blue scorers.
To honor the longevity of his striker, Didier Deschamps gave him the captain’s armband that evening. Against Ukraine, Olivier Giroud became the eighth player in history to have 100 caps. As he participated in the five meetings that followed, the Chelsea striker came closer to the top 5 centenarians (Vieira, 6th with 107 caps, Zidane, 5th with 108). With 120 matches on the clock, Hugo Lloris is the most capped player in activity. The Tottenham goalkeeper is only three lengths behind Thierry Henry (123 caps) and 22 behind the record holder, Lilian Thuram (142).
His fall was thwarted by injuries. But at just 22 years old, Kylian Mbappé remains a boy far ahead of his time. Despite the postponement of the Euro, he has a total of 39 selections, including 30 as a holder. In the current generation, the precocious Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembélé, Raphaël Varane and Anthony Martial respectively numbered 22, 21, 19 and 17 at the same age. No other player in the history of the France team has played as much as him at the same age.
16 goals in the selection at only 22 years old: in this area too, Kylian Mbappé is impressive. At the same age, Messi had scored 12 with Argentina (in 39 caps too), Cristiano Ronaldo 15 with Portugal (in 43 caps).
In 2020, they are six to have become international. On September 5, Dayot Upamecano celebrated his first selection in Sweden, emulated three days later by Eduardo Camavinga against Croatia. Youngest international since 1945, the Rennais also became, at 17 years and 11 months, the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Blues since Maurice Gastiger against Switzerland on March 8, 1914 (17 years and 5 months). Regularly retained in the group since May 2019 without ever playing, Mike Maignan replaced Steve Mandanda, injured, at half-time for France-Ukraine, a meeting which also allowed Houssem Aouar to start in A. Against Finland on the 11th. November, Marcus Thuram and Ruben Aguilar honored their first cape.
With 585 minutes in the field, Antoine Griezmann is the player most used by Didier Deschamps in 2020. The number 7 is the only player, with Olivier Giroud (423 minutes), to have participated in the eight matches of the Blues. Hugo Lloris (560 minutes played), Adrien Rabiot (512) and Raphaël Varane (460) follow.
Antoine Griezmann has participated in eight matches for the Blues in 2020. The Mâconnais has participated in the last 43 outings of the France team. It is only one game away from Patrick Vieira’s record (44 matches in a row played between 1999 and 2002). Since his debut for the French team in March 2014, Antoine Griezmann has missed only four matches. The last, in June 2017, during the friendly France-England (3-2).
Photo Simon MORCEL / FFF
Named best coach of the year 2020, as in 2018 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), Didier Deschamps presents a very positive assessment at the head of the Blues. Under his leadership, the French team have won 71 of their 108 matches since August 2012 (19 draws and 18 losses), scored 215 goals (1.99 goals on average per game) and conceded 91 (0.84 goals in average per game).
Among the 88 different players he used, Didier Deschamps launched 53. The latest? Marcus Thuram, the son of his former teammate.
Appointed on October 4, 1975, the late Michel Hidalgo remained for 3,189 days at the head of the France team. On April 3, 2021, this longevity record will fall: the mandate of Didier Deschamps, who was inducted by Noël Le Graët at the head of the Blues on July 9, 2012, began 3096 days ago (December 30, 2020, day of publication of this article).
Photo Simon MORCEL / FFF