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A week to change almost everything! Here is the challenge that awaited Sylvain Ripoll. Last Friday, June 25, the French coach unveiled the list of eighteen players selected to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games from July 21 to August 7. After having twice rejected his announcement and obtained a waiver to be able to call players who were not in the pre-list of 50 names filed in May, the former coach of Lorient could finally breathe. But his rest only lasted a few minutes.
In the process, several teams prohibited their players from participating in the Olympic tournament. Result: Ripoll was to replace Benoît Badiashile (Monaco), Amine Gouiri (Nice), Maxence Caqueret (OL), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Jonathan Ikoné (LOSC) or Malang Sarr (Chelsea). Reservist, Maxence Prévot was also selected. Sylvain Ripoll therefore had to find ten players, since FIFA was expanding the lists to twenty-two players without reservists. A new puzzle began for the coach and the FFF, who called on the Ligue 1 teams to play the game through the voice of its president Noël Le Graët.
Ripoll struggled to the end
But the Olympics do not take place on FIFA dates, nothing forced the clubs to let go of players. Thus, for a week Ripoll has suffered many refusals while continuing to increase contacts to try to build a team that can represent France. And he cast a very wide net, he who obtained a 48-hour delay from FIFA on Wednesday. Indeed, he had until Friday to give his final list of twenty-two players. But until the end, the French struggled, he who had to face in the money-time the absence of Gautier Larsonneur, ultimately retained by Brest.
Thus, new players were called in to join the initial roster. Alongside Gignac, Thauvin, Savanier, Tousart & co, we therefore find Stefan Bajic, Modibo Sagnan, Ismaël Doukouré, Thimothée Pembélé, Melvin Bard, Enzo Le Fée or even Thimothée Pembélé. “In agreement with the clubs of Montpellier HSC and LOSC Lille, Dimitry Bertaud and Isaac Lihadji will remain in their club and will join the selection only if necessary. So nineteen players will fly to Tokyo ”, specifies the press release. After weeks of hardship, Sylvain Ripoll will finally be able to concentrate on the pitch. It was time nineteen days before the opening of the Olympic tournament.
The list of the French team for the Olympic Games
Guardians: Paul Bernardoni (Angers), Stefan Bajic (ASSE), Dimitry Bertaud (Montpellier);
Defenders: Anthony Caci (Strasbourg), Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan), Clément Michelin (Lens), Modibo Sagnan (Real Sociedad), Thimothée Pembélé (PSG), Melvin Bard (OL), Ismaël Doukouré (VA);
Environments : Alexis Beka Beka (Caen), Jérémy Gélin (Rennes), Enzo Le Fée (Lorient), Téji Savanier (MHSC), Florian Thauvin (Tigres), Lucas Tousart (Hertha Berlin);
Attackers: André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Randal Kolo Muani (FC Nantes), Isaac Lihadji (Lille), Nathanaël Mbuku (Reims), Arnaud Nordin (ASSE)