The France team has started its preparation for the Euro at Clairefontaine.
The Blues will spend the next month and a half in a tight bubble.
The question of the balance between physical and mental health necessarily arises.
Still without supporters but with a little human. The French team trained Thursday at Clairefontaine in front of a college of journalists comfortably installed in the stands, a not unpleasant habit that the health apocalypse quickly made us forget. The (physical) press conferences of the day had the scent of a happy reunion, even if you can tell that the restrictions are never far away. Photographers - who usually like to play contortionists on the ground to give us nice conf photos - are asked to take their photos from their seats, and those who slip up to ask questions are called to order.
We do not draw you the protocol in its entirety, but keeping this bubble immaculate is a major stake for Didier Deschamps, who recalled Wednesday at a press conference that "if a player is positive, it's over, he leaves the competition" .
Contact with the outside world is therefore prohibited to minimize the risks and PCR tests are carried out several times a week.
“This does not give us a 100% guarantee, but we are in a very strict health bubble where everything is reduced.
We will make sure to be as vigilant as possible, as we did on the last gatherings.
»With the palme d'or of hypochondria for Guy Stéphan.
“We can imagine everything: a delivery man who will touch a handle, we touch it then and that's it, the virus is transmitted.
You have to plan for everything, even the unforeseeable.
Health yes, morale too
Recent history has proven that we are never too careful with the Covid, and that, if we cannot win a competition by respecting the barrier gestures alone, we can lose it by breaking the bubble - we are will refrain from hitting the XV of France for a 50th time during the VI Nations tournament even if it still bothers us so much.
And since the puzzle is not complicated enough like that, the health issue is accompanied by a psychological factor inherent in confinement situations, you and we know something about it.
“When we take away freedoms, it's never pleasant for anyone,” Deschamps concedes.
We will have to adapt and that does not impact morale and our objective, ”he argued.
Until June 14, the date of their departure for Germany, the Blues will only leave base camp on very rare occasions: a bike ride in the forest, like Wednesday evening, and two trips, to Nice from the 1st June 3 to face Wales, then in Enghien-les-Bains on June 7 and 8, for the second preparation match against Bulgaria in Saint-Denis.
Raphaël Varane does not hide it, if it is often a question of physical fatigue at this stage of the season, mental wear and tear can be formidable: "The fact of escaping is important, but we will rarely have it. the possibility.
It will be up to us to come to an understanding, to keep the group alive.
It's up to us to animate, to have fun together.
Didier Deschamps is also counting on the positive dynamic of always and on his 14 world champions to chase the gloom away from the team during the month and a half to come.
For the moment, there is little to worry about.
The euphoria of the reunion and the excitement of the looming Euro take precedence over the rest.
“It is up to them, concludes Deschamps, to put positive waves in the group to live well together as they have done well in the past.
It is obviously a sporting adventure, but also a human adventure.
And in this adventure, there is all the staff to add.
Two groups all riveted and fixed on the same objective.
»Win the Euro.
And keep the bubble intact.
Euro 2021: Raphaël Varane "happy" to no longer have to choose between his friend Benzema and Didier Deschamps
Euro 2021: Between climbing the stairs and mountain biking, the Blues go into "competition" mode at Clairefontaine
French football team