The ceremonies follow one another and resemble each other. At the end of September 2019, on the podium of the World Cup, where his partners celebrated their third place in the tournament, Evan Fournier looked gray. Marked by the defeat in the semi-finals against Argentina, after a success against the American favorites in the previous round, the back of the French men’s basketball team had removed, as soon as received, his bronze medal, to hide it in his sock. « It’s hard, because we came with an ambitionhe said with a sigh. This defeat, I will think about it all my career, that’s for sure. » Sunday September 18, the now captain of the Blues did not hide his European silver medal, but, like his partner Rudy Gobert, he withdrew it from his neck, marked by a new disillusionment.
“I lost a lot of finals and I feel like it’s becoming a habit. It makes me crazy « , also annoys Guerschon Yabusele. Among the best Frenchmen in the competition, the strong winger of Real Madrid could not do anything, like his partners, to prevent Spain from returning to the roof of Europe. After a brilliant demonstration (88-76), the Roja of the Hernangomez brothers won, on Sunday, the fourth European title in its history (2009, 2011, 2015 and 2022). For the Blues, who claimed at the start of the campaign “only come for the gold”money tastes bitter.
Since the advent of the Tony Parker generation, the France team has developed a taste for consistency. At his helm since 2009, Vincent Collet won the seventh medal of his term on Sunday. And if, hot, regrets dominate after a new final lost against the Iberian rival, the Blues must not forget the meanders of their course in the competition. After a group phase alternating hot and cold, in a very tough pool, Rudy Gobert’s teammates twice escaped impossible situations, in the round of 16 and in the quarter-finals.
A frustrating irregularity
In express maturation since the summer of 2019, this team assumes its high ambitions. “We have winning hearts. I arrived in a team that had the culture of winning and we tried to keep this mentality.summarized the pivot of the Blues before the semi-final. “Even the years when people think we are going to be less strong, we come with the objective of the gold medal. No matter who is there, no matter the circumstances, we have enough talent to claim the top step every year, even if some are harder than others. » This year, the Blues presented a rejuvenated workforce. And if they benefited from a course facilitated by the elimination of the Serbian and Slovenian favorites, they gave themselves the means to be » there where [ils] wanted to be » – their mantra: in a position to challenge for the title.
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