Sylvain Ripoll ahead of France-Norway: “What I want is continuity for us”

While France squad players flew to Qatar and the World Cup on Wednesday morning, the Hoops were living out their final hours before heading to Calvados for the final international meeting of the year. They face Norway at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen on Saturday (9pm). A chance for coach Sylvain Ripoll to take stock seven months before Euro 2023.

“What do you expect from this last conference in 2022?
We have a group to perfect. We started building it a while ago, but we need time together, off and on the pitch. With clashes against solid teams reflecting the standard of a European Championship. In Romania (June 21-July 8, 2023) it is important for players to improve this technical level to have a good run.

You’re going to play an opponent you’ve already met in the group stage at the Euros (along with Italy and Switzerland). It’s very rare to organize it at this stage of preparation, isn’t it?
Little did we know that we would bump into each other while organizing this friendship. It would have been in March and we wouldn’t have done it that way, but we’re still a long way from the deadline. We decided with Norway to keep it.

“We have made good progress, but the group is not closed. It depends on the manifestations and degrees of forms. »

Eight months out from the Euros, do you think you already have a big squad of players you’ll take to Romania?
Yes, we have made good progress, but the group is not closed. It depends on the manifestations and degrees of forms.

Will Saturday’s match still be an opportunity to meet new faces and try new things?
Yes, while maintaining balance and consistency with what we’ve been doing for a while. There will certainly be doors that open for some and minor changes. What I want is for us to have continuity in what we can do well and emphasize the highlights that we can have in a match, there are more good periods to win. Competitions.

“I thought it was necessary to calm Benoit down first (regarding Badiashil not being summoned with A Mar). […] Obviously he needs to feel things out, but I found him good in the sessions and in the group.

Among the newcomers will be Muhammad Simakan. Isn’t there an irony between his club status and the French youth teams?
Yes. This is the first time he has come with us as a prospect. But we’ve been following him for a while now, and honestly he could have come a long time ago. He has been on my mind for a long time. It is true that it also faces strong competition. He has the ability to play as a central and right back defender. These are positions with many possibilities. We’ve started an adventure with some and we’ll continue, but Mohamed’s performance with Leipzig and what he did last season, it’s clear to me that he’s called.

You welcomed Benoît Badiaschel who attended the last conference with A. His profile seemed suited to compensate for the withdrawal of Presnel Kimpembe, a left-hander like him (Axel D’Sassi was called up in the Parisian’s place). Have you discussed it with him?
To be very transparent, I thought it necessary to let Benoit off the hook first. May all that he lives mature, because a lot has happened to him in the past two months. But I can discuss his current situation and the way he feels with many others. Yes, we will talk about it. Obviously he needs to feel things out, but I found him good in the group and in the sessions.

Doesn’t playing a friendly match before the month and a half agreement give the impression of June in a non-competitive year? Is the atmosphere also educational?
This is a question we can ask ourselves. The response we got in the first two to three days was very positive. I saw a group of players who were happy to meet again. There is a kind of liquid life in this group. They enjoy talking. There is not much difference in this gathering. But I expect the end of the rally to be the same and all this will be confirmed with a win on Saturday evening. »

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