Moscow France’s press is enthusiastic about their national team and celebrates goalscorer Samuel Umtiti. The sports newspaper “L’Equipe” can hardly believe it: “Full off. Fantastic in game control and strategy, Les Bleus have suffocated Belgium to reach the final of the World Cup, thanks to the goal of a hero named Samuel Umtiti. France’s quipe is in the final. It’s completely crazy. She did it as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Passionate, methodical, superior.”
“Le Monde” and “Le Figaro” dream of the second star on their crew’s chest. “Le Monde”: “On the banks of the Neva, “monstrous” Bleus get a third World Cup final. Winning (1-0) over Belgium on Tuesday in St Petersburg, the French team will try to put a second star on the jersey on Sunday.”
“Le Figaro” writes: “Heroic against Belgium, Les Bleus can dream of a second star.” Furthermore, the newspaper speaks of a “gigantic popular movement”, which was triggered by Didier Deschamp’s team, “like the era of Zinedine Zinade and Company”.
The competition from the second semi-final is judged much weaker than their own footballers, writes “Libération”: “The Blues (…) A second star will now go on Sunday against England or Croatia, symbolising a second world title. Both teams appear less talented and less solid than the French.”
Unlike in the final against Italy in 2006, the French do not expect a headbutt and want to make the oft-quoted dream a reality on Sunday. The young team has managed to play into the hearts of their supporters. “Le Parisien”: “After 20 years, we are experiencing a new dream, carried by a youth who makes you want to like it.”
“L’Union”: “You also have to acknowledge that a month ago not many saw “les Bleus” in the final. (…) These blues really played with face down cards. They really put us in. The team is sympathetic. (…) To put it bluntly, they have reconciled the French with their national team.”
The press of the losers Belgium sees the game somewhat differently. As “De Standaard” writes: “Belgium has the game, but France has the victory.” But despite the defeat, they are proudly behind their team and the nation. “La Libre”: “For a month, the devils have delighted Belgium far beyond their followers. Their heroicdeeds have swept the whole country along.” “La Derniere Heure”: “The players have proved that Belgium is indeed a nation.”
Belgium played a great tournament and were almost flawless until the semi-finals. This is also the view of the “RTBF”: “The devils can leave the tournament with their heads held high. Flawless in the group stage, great in the quarter-final against Japan, heroic against Brazil, they allowed us to live unforgettable emotions.”
Other international press voices from Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Austria and Switzerland are enthusiastic about the French game. In particular, the defense is praised, from which of course the scorer Umtiti stands out. But also red devils from Belgium get their respect, because they “fought to the end” (“As”, Spain) and “catch the better start” (“Look”, Switzerland).
The dream is still over and the Guardian notes: “The players in blue have been overwhelming, and the Belgian side, which relied heavily on Premier League players, will have to wonder if the time will ever come for their golden generation.”
Today will decide who the L’Equipe has to compete against in the final and whether the one day will give them more rest in the cards. But “Le Monde” is certain: “As far as the physical condition is concerned, the batteries are still far from empty.”
With material from dpa.