Gold Diggers: The Blues in Search of Dedication

1818 days. ‘2017 elusive’Vincent Poirier breathes. ” That was five years ago, and in addition, not much of the current team knew him, only three. 2017 is a long way off, but a change in the international calendar, along with the global Covid pandemic, has changed everything. The Blues may have bounced back massively in China during the World Cup, radiating a thousand lights in Japan for the Olympics, and their final image remains on the European stage in this pathetic elimination against Germany on September 9, 2017 at Sinan Erdem Dom in Istanbul (81-84) , drunk with hits by Daniel Theiss and Dennis Schroeder. And in the blink of fate, 1818 days later, France reconnects with its continental history against… Germany.

Five years later, will you avenge tonight for Yvan Fournier and the Blues? (Photo: FIBA)

We learn from all defeats.Rudi Gobert said Wednesday, referring to the setback in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This sentence also applies perfectly to the 2017 campaign. Team France, who were brilliant in preparation, thought they were unstoppable, and equipped with many superior attacking talents. But precisely, that summer, there was no collective will, no defensive will, only individuals. The Blues were able to draw the necessary lessons, also bolstered by the experience of international windows that were particularly valuable in building this collection. Two years later, it was a real team that stunned the world in Asia, notably toppling the United States in the quarter-finals.

The hardest EuroBasket in history?

If we are talking about 2017 again, it is because this sad image of Istanbul still stands on the European stage, which is still the most recent. Team France may have regained its place as the world leader, but this poor job still needs to be corrected. With the feeling of being in the middle of Ford, he’s not quite back in 2021 due to the absence of the De Colo – Batum duo, but the team hasn’t been out of shape at all in five years. “It’s a new adventure that begins”says Vincent Colette. “We have to write it together. We brought up the theme of theft in 2019 because we were emerging from a resounding Euro failure, and we didn’t expect it. Last year, we were on a mission with a very high objective. This year, we are between the two because unfortunately we have not kept “All in silver. We are both engaged in the reconstruction but also in wanting to confirm what has been done during the last two campaigns. We must use the treasure of the last year in terms of state of mind and determination but also we must devise a path that will lead us to the best places in the Euro.”

In his legendary maxim, Vincent Colette evokes ” Best Euro Places ». Its players, having competed with Team USA in the Olympic final, clearly do not have the same aspirations. Only one place really matters to them, the first. ” I’ve never had a gold medal with French teams before, either in the juniors or in the first division.”Rudy Gobert sighs. “I got the bronze. I had the money. This year, we want gold, obviously.” A symbol of the 1992 generation that fared almost better than Jill Parker with its Olympic finish and another world podium, but still lacked the highest dedication, a gold medal, to definitively enter the tri-color sports pantheon.

Mike Toby’s Slovenia will seek revenge this summer (Image: FIBA)

The only problem: at least six countries can legitimately project the same ambitions. The rarity of the EuroBasket increased its value and all the choices came with the Grand Fleet, forming practically the highest field in history: Greece has the atomic weapon Giannis Antetokounmpo, Serbia is carried by the jubilant Nikola Jokic, Germany is a very, very serious foreign country at home, Italy will want to confirm the good Olympic Games, Turkey is very attractive on paper, Lithuania wants to make up for itself from the last disappointing summers, and Spain… Spain and Slovenia by Luka Doncic remain animated by holy fire.

Fate European coat of arms to restore
To consolidate a global position

At this level, the French national team is still in a kind of contradiction: a rare experience at this level but a renewed group this summer, which is still looking for its speed. ‘We are a young team’Vincent Colette confirms. “We need experience and we don’t have much time to gain it. I have confidence in our potential but at the moment it is not improving.” In this regard, dumplings from Sarajevo could eventually serve the purposes of the blues by acting as an electric shock. “I think this defeat in Bosnia has done us a lot of good.”Rudy Goubert sees. Just like the defeat against Japan, five days before the Olympics, in special circumstances, could have come in handy last year. “Up until then, we won all our games fairly easily, despite all our mistakes, and realizing that it wouldn’t happen every time losing in Bosnia gave us a little boost.”Vincent Poirier agrees. “We proved last year that we show a completely different face when the real competition arrives.” By accepting the players, the intensity of training has increased significantly since their arrival in Cologne, which is a sign of the approach to serious matters. “If we don’t respond after defeating Bosnia, we will never get to the euro”Andrew Bessi warns. “I think it is very good to start the match against Germany directly. »

Eli Okubo, the first international campaigner and icon for the rejuvenation of the Blues (Image: FIBA)

An opposition against the host nation would be a life-size test for France, as a sign of the viability of its ambitions. So of course, no medals will be awarded on Thursday night, but you have to press the switch and get into unlocking mode. “Tomorrow (Thursday) is when we have to enter the competition.”Vincent Colette urges. “It’s a specific format where you want to win right away but then, you have to see how you develop. In all cases you have to move forward, progress, learn quickly and plan the tough matches. From Bosnia and Herzegovina, obviously there was an awareness. We feel a rise in strength from Where intensity and aggressiveness. In the training sessions at the beginning of the week, there was a step up and that is good.” If we take an overview, the failure of 2017 was instrumental in the great history of the French national team. That the Bosnian blunder lies in the short experience of the 2022 release of the blues. Because after all, there is a lot of European coat of arms to regain a global position to consolidate in Germany …

in Cologne,


September 1, 2022 at 6:00 am

1818 days. ‘2017 elusive’Vincent Poirier breathes. ” That was five years ago, and in addition, not much of the current team knew him, only three. 2017 is a long way off, but a change in the international calendar, along with the global Covid pandemic, has changed everything. The blues have the beauty of…

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