Fatigue factor worries Deschamps as France start Euro preparations

Deschamps said France will aim to qualify for the knockout stage by winning their first two Group D matches against Austria and Netherlands

By Reuters

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France striker Kylian Mbappe arrives for a training session on Wednesday. — Reuters
France striker Kylian Mbappe arrives for a training session on Wednesday. — Reuters

Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 8:42 PM

France coach Didier Deschamps is concerned that a congested season may have taken its toll on his players as they prepare for next month's Euros.

The World Cup finalists are set to play Luxembourg and Canada in friendlies early next month before kicking off their Euro 2024 group stage campaign against Austria on June 17.


"There is no such thing as zero risk, even with someone who is in top form. You can never be sure," Deschamps told reporters on Wednesday as a 25-member France squad began their training camp.

"But frankly, I'm no magician. You can't change anything with the time available... if we'd had three weeks to prepare, we could have done things that could have changed things. But we'll adapt and optimise."


France last played in March, when they lost to Germany and beat Chile in friendly matches at home.

"We were all able to analyse that the players, at this March gathering, were experiencing more fatigue than usual. This was linked to the succession of matches," Deschamps said.

"There can be physical fatigue and psychological fatigue... aside from all the other aspects, freshness can be a decisive factor."

However, one player he was not worried about was his captain Kylian Mbappe.

"Kylian has always been part of a team project. Obviously, he has responsibilities at his club, but he also has responsibilities here, if not more," the 55-year-old Deschamps said. "I'm not going to pay any more attention to him in that respect."

Deschamps said France will aim to qualify for the knockout stage by winning their first two Group D matches against Austria and Netherlands, to ease some pressure ahead of their final group fixture against Poland.

"I am a positive person, and I am driven by the idea that every day that goes by brings us closer to a positive response," he said. "Everything will be done to make sure things go as smoothly as possible."

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