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Spain-France: the favorites and strokes of our special correspondent

Find the good and bad points delivered by Baptiste Desprez, special envoy of Figaro in Milan for the final of the League of Nations.

Special Envoy in Milan


Benzema’s jewel
One of the great men of the evening. With a fabulous goal scored in the wake of the Spanish opening scoring, Karim Benzema splashed his immense talent in this final. A gesture that owes nothing to chance, as the Madrilenian had been precise during the warm-up in his strikes on goal. “It’s a gesture that I often repeat”, he agreed, happy, after the meeting. Soon to be 34 years old (he will have them in December), “KB19”, building on the momentum of a successful Euro in a personal capacity (4 goals), continues at a frantic pace with the France team and wins his first trophy in the selection. . Crazy enough for a man who has 92 capes but whose course has been stopped for reasons that everyone knows. With a Benzema of this level, the Blues have plenty to see coming.

Mbappé’s crazy week
He was expected by all after his media outings at the start of the week, which means that the striker of the Blues and PSG responded in the best possible way on the ground. With two goals and as many assists to his credit, he was one of the essential elements of this victory in the League of Nations. Yes he missed opportunities, yes he was discreet in the first act … But when he accelerates or is thrown in depth, there remains this constant poison so dreaded by the opposing defenders. With Griezmann and Benzema, he must continue the meetings in the blue jersey to perfect an agreement still perfectible but already exciting.

Lloris and Pogba guardians of the temple
Two monstrous stops at the end of the meeting for the first city and an activity of great evenings for the second. Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba, 134 and 89 selections on the clock, had their say on Sunday evening against the Spaniards, as three days earlier in the half against the Belgians. With them, the France team relies on tauliers, players loyal to the position and guarantors of a winning state of mind that endures over time despite the hitch of the Euro. “We are always thirsty for trophies and we are not satisfied”, assumes the “Pickaxe”, more ambitious than ever and eager to wash away the affront of last summer. The beginning of the response glimpsed this week makes you want to see the rest.

SEE ALSO – “Coming back to the selection and winning makes me very happy”: Karim Benzema is delighted with France’s victory in the League of Nations


The Spanish bad players
“We did not deserve to lose”, “we had played better than them” : these comments come from Sergio Busquets and Aymeric Laporte on Sunday evening and not from Belgian players. Even less Thibaut Courtois… The two Spaniards, logically disappointed, believe that the France team won while being weaker than La Roja in the final of the League of Nations. A speech that can be heard, but which does not reveal the reality. If Spain had the ball more often than the Blues – which happens almost all the time – this domination was sterile in the first act and then rewarded with a goal after the break. Afterwards, the world champions had as many, if not more scoring chances than their opponent. Bad players the Spaniards?

Pavard and Upamecano in pain
For different reasons, the two defenders had a delicate evening on the lawn of San Siro on Sunday night. Benjamin Pavard, released at the end of the meeting (80e, replaced by Léo Dubois) by his coach, appeared nervous when leaving the field. It must be said that the right side, in difficulty in the offensive game with this system of five, had taken a blast a few minutes earlier by Paul Pogba, who found that he was hiding too much. In the end, an evening to forget on an individual level. On the side of Dayot Upamecano, who came into play in the 43e minute replacing Raphaël Varane, injured, the evening was nightmarish from a personal point of view. Caught failing on the Iberian goal, he also had setbacks in the recovery, with in particular a loss of ball which could have been expensive at the end of the match (88e). Not sure that he scored points in the eyes of the coach after such a production.


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