"It has no equal in a repair area at the world level," coach Hervé Renard had already praised her before the quarter-final lost against Australia (0-0, 7-6 t.a.b.). "I've seen a few like that in the men, she's of that quality," said the French coach.

Since the "disappointment" of the elimination, the taulière tricolore, 34 years old, with 184 selections which makes her the 4th most capped player, author of three goals in Oceania, continues on her momentum of the World Cup, untenable. Like his always intelligent movements, his races, his efficiency in the surface and his technical mastery.

"Second youth"

Her perfectly balanced recovery of an outside foot for Grace Geyoro on the first goal against Portugal on Friday in the League of Nations (2-0) shows that she is at her best and full of confidence. She was also close to scoring twice, and was deprived of a fairly obvious penalty.

"What Eugenie achieves is quite exceptional," Hervé Renard said Monday at a press conference, "we could say that she has found a second youth."

"I have never doubted my qualities, I know what I am capable of, they have not flown away in a few months, it was up to me to find my feelings and try to be as liberated as possible to help the team," said Wednesday to AFP the vice-captain of the Blues, about his World Cup, where she was "well in (s) a head".

Eugenie Le Sommer during the France's 2-0 win over Portugal on September 22, 2023 in Valenciennes © FRANCK FIFE / AFP/Archives

"I'm not surprised by what I did at the World Cup, it's more the people who are surprised," insisted the striker with 92 goals with the France team, before the second meeting of the League of Nations Tuesday against Austria in Vienna (18:30).

Like Wendie Renard, the 33-year-old captain, she has failed three times in a row at the quarter-final stage of the premier competition, after a fourth-place finish in 2011, in their first World Cup.

The two thirty-year-olds still seem unstoppable in their positions, even if the competition ahead at OL and Les Bleues is intensifying for the Breton, knowing that she was no longer a starter at OL at the end of last season.

"I had to wait my turn and be patient," she says, relaxed.

The arrival of his compatriot Kadidiatou Diani and the Haitian nugget Melchie Dumornay in the Rhône and the meteoric rise of Vicky Becho (19 years old) do not seem for the moment to block the prospects of the N.9.

"No limit"

The Lyon coach, Sonia Bompastor, also started during the Trophée des championnes against PSG (2-0) and during the first day of D1 against Le Havre (4-0), scorer in both matches including a beautiful half-volley.

"I am at the disposal of the coach, we have a big squad, it's up to me to do well and play as many matches as possible," said the Sommer, who feels "no stress". "I'm at Lyon, it's my 14th season, there have always been great players, that's how we perform, I've evolved my whole career with a lot of competition," she continued.

Eugenie Le Sommer (l) and Wendie Renard during the Australia-France quarter-final at the Women's World Cup, August 11, 2023 © FRANCK FIFE / AFP/Archives

At Les Bleues, the competition is also fierce: Delphine Cascarino must also return during the season, like Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who played her first minutes with PSG.

But for Le Sommer, Olympic gold at home remains a goal and would be the best end: "The Olympics are still far away today, even if it is the goal of the end of the season, and it's in a corner of my head," she told AFP. "I don't know if it will be the last (competition with the Blues, editor's note), we'll see, I don't set a limit."

© 2023 AFP