France-Poland (1-1): Bradley Barcola, a first which should inspire others

France-Poland (1-1): Bradley Barcola, a first which should inspire others

His time has therefore come, this Tuesday June 25 afternoon, in the furnace of Dortmund. Five days after having been very close to returning at the end of the match against the Netherlands (0-0), where he had to put on his tracksuit and remain a spectator, Bradley Barcola was finally invited by Didier Deschamps to make his entry into the big leagues during this last group match against Poland (1-1).

And to become an actor. A strong choice which says a lot about the consideration and confidence that the staff of the French team have in this young man of 21 years who cannot help but shake up the established order and upset the hierarchy.

Generous in defensive efforts

Like his season at PSG, where he established himself as an indisputable starter while he seemed destined for a minor role, the number 25 of the Blues turned the tables and entered the starting eleven for this decisive match for the rest of the competition. While we thought Ousmane Dembélé was in danger on the right, it was ultimately Marcus Thuram who was pushed to the bench by one of the last minute guests on the list.

Despite only 39 minutes of play in his life as a player for the France team and two small selections, Didier Deschamps has realized the obvious: Barcola can be a real asset for his selection during this Euro. “I was advised to play as I know how, relaxed, not to stress, to do what I do in Paris and to give the maximum for the team,” he explained before the meeting.

We can say it: Barcola generally respected its roadmap which consisted of destabilizing the opponent, unbalancing the Polish block and bringing a little madness, carelessness thanks to its speed and its ball handling. In the left lane of the attack, we saw him display the same lightness in the one-on-one that he is used to expressing in Ligue 1.

In front of him, a well-known face, Frankowski, player from Lens, was able to see it for himself in the 4th minute with a first spicy acceleration, followed by a cross pushed back by the defense. Sixteen minutes later, he did it again when he came to put on that little thrust so characteristic of his game which allows him to gain the upper hand over his opponent, before pushing his ball. In difficulty, Frankowski was forced to stop him illegally.

“We could have done better in front of goal”

Generous in defensive efforts, valuable in his high recoveries at the feet of opponents (2nd, 19th, 53rd), Barcola blended easily into this Franco-Parisian collective, since he found Mbappé and Dembélé, his two team partners. PSG attack. We have also often seen him rezone to leave room for his captain who made him one of his privileged relays in the zone of truth, where twice, he was his point of support (42nd, 45th) without however materializing.

If he sometimes lacked consistency, a greater volume of play over the hour of play that he played, his last action, a rush of more than 40 m in his lane concluded by a shot rejected by the goalkeeper , demonstrated that his qualities as a dribbler and provocateur could be of service to a French team lacking imagination and creativity.

“It’s disappointing, but I’m still happy for a first,” reacted the former Lyonnais to BeIN Sports. We could have done better in front of goal, we managed the match but we were fooled by not scoring the second. I found out last night about my tenure, it took me a while to sleep. But I approached this match as I approach all matches. It’s already good what we do with Ousmane on the sides, but if we manage to add something more collective, it could bring us more opportunities. » The Blues will really need it, from the round of 16, next Monday.

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