France are favourites but they are also their biggest enemies: Evra | Football News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

France are favourites but they are also their biggest enemies: Evra

Jun 06, 2024 10:40 PM IST

Les Bleus have the best squad but Germany, Italy and Portugal should give them a run for their money

Former France and Manchester United captain Patrice Evra believes the Les Bleus are the favourites to win the upcoming Uefa European Championships. With Kylian Mbappe, arguably the best player in the world at the moment, in their ranks, France will be gunning for a third Euros title.

France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the International friendly football match between France and Luxembourg(AFP)
France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the International friendly football match between France and Luxembourg(AFP)

The 17th edition of the tournament is set to be held from June 14 to July 14 in Germany.

“I think it’s a no-brainer that France are the favourites,” said Evra during an interaction organised by host broadcaster Sony Sports. “No team in the competition has a better squad than them. (Coach Didier) Deschamps really wants that trophy. But the biggest enemy of France is France. The problem is sometimes we are too good and arrogant and too confident. Will other teams respect France and play too defensively and hurt us on counterattacks? So, we just have to be patient, don’t get frustrated and wait for the right time to hurt the opponent.”

Hosts Germany will be the other big team to keep an eye on. They’ve won the Euros thrice and are the most successful team in the tournament’s history along with Spain. Julian Nagelsmann’s side, however, will have to deal with the weight of expectations playing on home turf. Germany were knocked out in the round of 16 in the last Euros and couldn’t get past the group stage in the last two World Cups.

“I was really disappointed by Germany in the last tournament,” said Evra. “Earlier, one would always predict Germany to be in the semis or final before any tournament. It wasn’t even a question. But now I think they’ve lost that discipline and fear. Having said that, everyone dreams of winning big trophies in their own country. So, I think we will be surprised this time by Germany. They’re getting back slowly and are always a big team. Germany is still Germany.”

Evra also believes Italy could spring a surprise. The Azzuri won the last Euros in 2020 but faced a major setback by failing to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. “Italy will always be Italy,” said the former left-back, who played 81 international games for France.

“They have a manager (Luciano Spalletti) with great experience. One has to always respect them because no team is better than them tactically. It felt strange not having them in a big tournament like the World Cup. This is a country with a football culture. So, trust me, it's always tough to play against Italy. Sometimes, they all defend and you feel like it's a boring game and at the last minute, they hurt you. They’re a big footballing nation and are very dangerous.”

Cristiano Ronaldo will, of course, be one of the biggest attractions in the tournament. The 39-year-old, who led Portugal to the title in 2016 and has won the Ballon d’Or five times, will be determined to add another feather in his cap. Evra said one can expect many goals from his former Manchester United teammate once again.

“First of all, age is just a number,” said Evra. “I think people need to stop mentioning his age. If he's there, it's because he’s got the level. And don't even worry about his fitness. Cristiano would definitely like to win that trophy again. Portugal have so many good players and Roberto Martinez (coach) trusts them. When you have Cristiano Ronaldo in your team, you know he’s going to score. So, it's more an advantage than a disadvantage. I really don't understand why people question his age or whatever. He has stayed the GOAT and will be the GOAT again.”

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more

Catch all the Latest Football matches score updates alongwith EPL 2024 Schedule , ISL 2024 Schedule and other related updates on ISL 2024 Points table on The Hindustan Times website and App
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On