Kadidiatou Diani, Elisa De Almeida, Selma Bacha… The tricolor infirmary inventory before France-Jamaica

France start their World Cup against Jamaica in Sydney on Sunday.

Serious things are approaching. While the competition has officially launched, the French squad is just two days away from entering the race against Jamaica on 23 July at the Sydney Football Stadium. Among the last questions, the physical form of the group, after three weeks of preparation and “different states of form”in the words of Hervé Renard before the friendly against Ireland.

Present to the press on Thursday 20 July, Kadidiatou Diani and Elisa De Almeida talked about their physical form. Injuring his collarbone at the end of March, the former PSG striker missed the entire end of the season before returning to play for the first time against Ireland two weeks ago. “Personally it’s fine, at the beginning I struggled physically but I think it’s normal”he explained, before assuring: “Today I find the rhythm.”

Elisa De Almeida suffered from adductor pain during preparation, but she said she no longer felt any pain: “I had a gradual recovery, today I’m 100%, […] I worked with the medical staff and with the physical trainers. Today everything is fine and I’m ready.” He played half an hour late against Ireland and half-time against Australia.

“We will know how to respond to this physical fight”

For the defender of the capital club, the Azzurri will be ready to hold on physically, while Hervé Renard had regretted a lack of aggression against the Matildas. “We worked to correct some mistakes we made against Australia. It was still a preparation match, we weren’t 100% physically yet. But for Sunday we’re all 100% ready and we’ll know how to respond to this physical fight”he assured.

Stretchered off in injury time in the final warm-up match against Australia and sprained with a sprained ankle, Selma Bacha cycled with some high-intensity moments – and with a smile – on the sidelines during Wednesday’s press-open training session. That day, defender Aïssatou Tounkara also started training on the sidelines, chaining laps.

The French team’s path to Australia was paved with injuries. Hervé Renard had to do without Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who was absent due to a cruciate ligament injury at the last Euro, and Griedge Mbock, who suffered a serious knee injury in September 2022 during a match against Greece. The Bleues also lost Delphine Cascarino, who suffered a cruciate ligament tear in her right knee during OL’s D1 clash with PSG in late May. Oriane Jean-François had to leave the group shortly before the announcement of the list of 23 due to an adductor injury. Finally, the comeback Amandine Henry forfeit also immediately after the match against Ireland, hit in the calf.

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