Europe 1 with AFP 23:22 p.m., March 27, 2023With his goal scored against Ireland on Monday night during the Euro 2024 qualifiers, Bayer Munich defender Benjamin Pavard has revived with the France team. In a period of doubts with the Blues, the player offered victory to his team allowing Didier Deschamps' men to take the lead of the group.
Revived by Didier Deschamps in Dublin, the downgraded defender Benjamin Pavard came out of his box to pierce the defensive curtain of the Irish (1-0) Monday, and record his resurrection after being dismissed at the World Cup by the coach. The 26-year-old Northerner had to start finding the long, very long time on the French bench. But after seven games without playing, he was able to grasp Deschamps' outstretched hand and be decisive, if not brilliant in the game.
In the 50th minute, he popped up to intercept a pass from Josh Cullen, brought the ball into good position and unleashed a dry strike that, after grazing an opponent's back, lodged beautifully on the bottom of the crossbar before going in. Enough to awaken the sweet memory of his magical volley against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup... The Blues needed this unexpected inspiration to finally make the difference in a game where they struggled to be dangerous. The net shook, on the right side, during the first shot of the match!
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Keeping the Australian memory away
In the euphoria of his third international goal, the first since November 2020, Pavard soared towards a corner post to celebrate his jewel of a long slide, before hitting his chest like a warrior. The celebration had a strong taste of liberation for the Munich, cheered by nearly 3,000 French fans massed in a corner of the Aviva Stadium.
Former taulier of Deschamps, the No. 2 of the Blues has brutally slipped in the hierarchy of the right backs after the first match of the World Cup in Qatar against Australia (4-1), which he started. Jules Koundé donned the starting clothes in Qatar, replaced by novice Axel Disasi, an axial defender by training. The coach has tasted little of his performance against the Socceroos, and even less the attitude of the 2018 world champion, after. According to several media, Pavard refused the criticism made by the staff towards him, which completed to condemn him.
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"It's the past"
The Blues boss let him marinate in purgatory for four months, as an undeclared sanction, but he nevertheless chose to select him for the resumption in March, with substitute status to begin with. "I have already talked a lot (with Pavard) before, during and after the World Cup. We are not going to go back on it, it's the past, the important thing is in front, that with his club he maintains an important level of performance, with versatility, "tried to evacuate Deschamps before the start of the qualifications for Euro 2024.
With the daily Le Parisien, the technician had been more talkative before. "What player, at some point in his career, has not been questioned?" he said. "Overnight, you don't pull a cross on someone. It is up to me and my staff to judge Benjamin against the competition."
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By lining him up in Dublin, Deschamps revived one of his most capped players and maintained a form of emulation on the right side of the defence, where Koundé was in an armchair. In the 81st minute, the coach brought Pavard out to give him rest and a long hug, under the eye of the cameras. Beyond his goal, Pavard did not show much however, like his partners overall, less inspired and better contained than Friday against the Netherlands (4-0).
The Munich native focused very little and received a warning very early (22nd), which may have slowed him down in his offensive expression. But his goal has great value for France, first in their qualifying group before more affordable deadlines in June against Greece and Gibraltar.