It's not a "magic square" like the one that lit up the Blues in the 1980s. The quartet made up of Hugo Lloris, Raphaël Varane, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud looks more like a robust backbone with a major player on each line.

And it is on it that all the major tournaments of the French team have been based since the arrival of Didier Deschamps in 2012. 

"It's a chance to have so much stability, benchmarks for so many years," notes Raphaël Varane.

"We know each other very well, we know how to work together. We have experience and experience and we try to pass it on. We try to reboost, too, if necessary."

Between them, they are 131 years old and 471 selections.

And these "grandpas" are still capable of resisting.

Against England, it was they who saved the country, each at their level. 

Obviously, they wouldn't be much without their younger teammates - Kylian Mbappé, Aurélien Tchouameni or Théo Hernandez.

"The most experienced leave us freedom of expression. They are not on our backs 24/24, it arouses respect", noted Youssouf Fofana recently. 

A statistic, however, shows the weight of the gang of four in competitions.

The nine times they have been established together in a major tournament (Euro or World Cup), the Blues have won.

What to hope for the return of Varane for the final, while the defense manager has been spared due to the "virus" which has affected part of the team.

Hugo Lloris, pillar of the blue temple

Hugo Lloris delivered a high-flying match against England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

© Paul Ellis, AFP

He had the captain's armband even before Didier Deschamps took charge of the team.

Not a fan of the captain guards, the coach had also almost removed him before changing his mind.

But, Hugo Lloris has become over the years the pillar of the France team.

He is part of the furniture, he who has now played 144 matches with the Blues.

He is always present in the big matches, for example, playing a decisive role six times against England in the quarter-finals, or pulling out the right parades to keep the French afloat against Morocco in the semi-finals.

>> To read also: Hugo Lloris, captain France and hero of the Blues

In the locker room, he is also the privileged relay of Didier Deschamps.

It must be said that the two men know each other well by dint of rubbing shoulders with each other on common trips to press conferences.

"His records have a meaning. Some are more trivial than others, but the selection record speaks for itself," Didier Deschamps judged about the longevity of his captain.

Raphaël Varane, master of defense

Raphael Varane at a press conference on December 12.

© Bernadett Szabo, Reuters

It is no longer his performances that make Raphaël Varane essential but his status as boss.

The vice-captain of the Blues, 29 years old and 92 selections on the clock, brings serenity to central defense during the World Cup, whether associated with Dayot Upamecano or Ibrahima Konaté, two players who had less than ten selections between them before the tournament.

>> To read also: France – Morocco, the floor is in defense

Today, he no longer hesitates to give voice, as at the half-time of France-Poland where he reminded his young teammates that everything could stop: "I felt that the team had need to be moved a bit, but it's never prepared. I sometimes feel like that, so I do it!

With Didier Deschamps, history is beautiful but is not a long calm river.

Raphaël Varane is called for the first match of "DD" at the controls of France.

But then, the defender resents him for a long time not to have been called up for Euro-2016 due to an injury which left him uncertain for the start of the competition.

For the World Cup, he was able to come back in time.

Injured in a thigh at the end of October with Manchester United, he worked hard to be part of the adventure

Antoine Griezmann: the handyman

The France team will defend their title of world champion in the final on Sunday against Argentina.


Of the gang of four, he is the least serious, the most relaxed, always quick to smile or joke, hand-checked to celebrate a victory.

But make no mistake, the striker replaced midfield on this World Cup is crucial in all the projects of Didier Deschamps.

He has made him his favorite player since he called him up, shortly before his first World Cup as coach.

Moreover, Antoine Griezmann has not since missed a match for the Blues.

His counter thus stands at 72 games - current record.

At 31, the Atlético Madrid playmaker is still achieving a top-flight World Cup this year in terms of slaughter and volume of play, rewarded with three assists and a man of the match trophy in the semi-finals. .

"Griezmann plays the role of Pogba, Kanté and Benzema [three great absentees from the France team, NLDR], he is having an impressive World Cup", praised Pablo Zabaleta, the former defender of the Argentina, opponent of the Blues on Sunday in the final.

With Didier Deschamps, the relationship is almost filial and is maintained with a nod to history: "Grizou" evolves in Blue with the number 7, like the coach before him.

Olivier Giroud: the finisher

On December 4, the Blues won against Poland (3-1) in the round of 16.

Double from Kylian Mbappé, but especially the 52nd goal from Olivier Giroud in selection.

He then broke the record held by Thierry Henry.


"Always believe".

Rarely has the title of an autobiography been so appropriate as for that of Olivier Giroud.

At 36, his story is one of constant rebirth amid equally eternal debates. 

It must be said that the manager of the attack of the Blues took advantage of the exclusion of Karim Benzema, mired in the affair of the sextape, to settle in the France team.

A team he discovered late, at the age of 25.

Eleven years later, the AC Milan center-forward scored four goals in Qatar, after remaining silent in Russia in 2018, offering Thierry Henry's goal record (51) at the World Cup.

"This record, it necessarily reminds me of all the years that have passed, eleven years in the France team, highs, very high moments and some a little lower", described the native of Chambéry.

However, since Euro-2021, he seemed to have lost favor with Didier Deschamps.

The striker continued to believe in it, however, to say he was available even for a substitute role.

Called as Karim Benzema's understudy for Qatar, he was able to reinstall himself at the head of the attack to play a final on Sunday.

The World Cup in Qatar beyond football:

>> Italy, Argentina, Russia… Before Qatar, three controversial World Cups

>> Behind "carbon neutrality", the "greenwashing" World Cup

>> "It's a disposable workforce": the hell of migrant workers in Qatar

>> A controversial World Cup: Qatar's efforts to counter criticism

>> Qatar: shadow workers

>> Should we boycott the World Cup in Qatar?

An Emirate under criticism

>> A bought World Cup?

Since 2010, suspicions of corruption have weighed on Qatar

>> After Qatar, is a "greener" World Cup possible?

>> Mondial-2022: a political, economic or "hypocritical" boycott?

>> I have the right, I don't have the right... Guide for the good little supporter in Qatar

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