World Cup 2022: “The minister? She is a politician, she says what she wants”, reacts Guendouzi

He is called upon to play understudy in this World Cup. Matteo Guendouzi, 23, 6 selections, presented himself this Wednesday at a press conference at the Jassim Bin Hamad stadium where the world champions usually train. He brushed off most of the hot topics of the moment.

Were you expecting this panorama in terms of atmosphere?

MATTEO GUENDOUZI. I think there is a very good atmosphere. It’s not like Dortmund or Marseille. But we heard our supporters, they pushed us against Australia. It’s going very well.

Do you suffer from air conditioning? Does this victory against Australia change anything?

We are all different. Air conditioning works for me. I even sleep with it. On the ground, we do not necessarily feel it. It’s very pleasant like that. The win gave us a lot of confidence. We scored a lot of goals. There were a lot of positive things for the sequel. We knew what we had to do. We started the match badly then we set up our game, we pressed higher and everything was back to normal.

How was the practice match on Wednesday? How did Eduardo Camavinga behave as left-back?

Camavinga played this role a little. There are very few left-handed players. He was very good and he scored a very nice goal. It was mainly a practice match to keep the momentum and form. We have to stay ready if the coach calls on us.

Are you ranked among the attackers in Didier Deschamps’ list? Do you find it difficult to live your role as a substitute?

We didn’t necessarily talk about my role. The coach knows he can use me in several positions in the midfield. I will respond if called upon. As for being a substitute, we are all competitors, we all want to return, to start, but the common objective is to win the World Cup. We first think of the collective before thinking of his person.

How to change the coach’s mind?

We stand ready. We will all have to start or enter. I am ready. It’s the coach who makes his choices and you have to respect them.

The Minister of Sports, Amelie Oudea-Castera, asks the Blues to get more involved. What do you think ?

She is a politician. She says what she wants. We made a press release to say what we thought. We are here to play football, to have fun. We are not insensitive to this situation but we are here to play football until the end.

How did you judge Antoine Griezmann’s game against Australia?

He gave a great performance. He can play in several positions, he also makes very good tackles, he will undoubtedly be a great number 6 later (smiles).

How do you spend your free time?

The days can be a bit long sometimes. There is a great group. We have known each other for several years, in the different selections. We play a lot of cards, the Uno, after dinner. There are also video games or Netflix series. We all integrated very quickly, us young people. There is a living room where we meet in the evening as well. There are those who play poker, Playstation, cards.

What will the return of Raphaël Varane bring?

He is a very high level defender. He’s a team executive, one of the captains. He inspires us with a lot of confidence, he has a lot of experience, there are a lot of young people. He talks to us a lot. His return will do us a lot of good. But we must also underline the very good match of Dayot (Upamecano) and Ibou (Konaté) against Australia.

What are the defensive adjustments to make?

These are questions to ask the coach. Tactics are not my domain. We have a new system. It takes a little getting used to. We were solid defensively even though we conceded a goal. We will analyze all of this on video.

How is Kylian Mbappé in the group?

Kylian is Kylian. He is a young man like everyone else. He is very natural, he is part of the team because he has been there for a long time. He takes on a lot of responsibility on the pitch where he is exceptional. He talks with everyone outside.

How do the attackers live with each other?

They all get along very well on the pitch. They are looking for each other. They are extraordinary. They are fantastic in the last 30 meters. Everyone gets along very well, there is a great atmosphere, between young and old.


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