“You are again considered a left back in selection. Do you feel able to give full measure to this position?
Yes, of course, even if lately I have been playing more often in the axis. But the last three games with Bayern, I was used as a left-back. I feel very comfortable in both positions. You can be reassured: I will give my best to defend this jersey.
How does it feel to be in competition with his brother (Theo)? And do you have the feeling of taking on a greater dimension in selection?
It is a pride for me to be in competition with my brother. It is also a source of pride to be together in a World Cup. I told him that whether it was me or him, I would be proud. Maybe even prouder if he’s playing (he smiles). It is true that the absences of Paul (Pogba) and NG (Kante) are important. Me, I am someone more reserved outside the field. In the locker room, I’m not going to speak. I prefer to talk on the pitch, have my partners follow me on the pitch.
How is your preparation going for the game against Australia on Tuesday?
We haven’t really started to prepare it yet, we’re going to do it today (Friday). Yesterday was open to the press and it’s not the right time to prepare for this game (smile). I think it will be a complicated match, like in 2018. (2-1 victory in the 1st round of the World Cup). The Aussies had gotten us in trouble quite a few times. Afterwards, we were lucky enough to be able to win and start the competition well. We expect the same type of opponent this year.
“The coach took 26 players who are top football players but also great people. We were put in the best conditions to get along very well. »
How are you feeling after your September injury?
I was injured in the last second of the game against Barcelona. I thought it would be less serious than it was. But I’m very strong mentally. I am serene. The club’s medical staff told me that I could make it to the World Cup without worries. Afterwards, it’s not easy to train alone. But I want to thank all the medical staff at Bayern who did everything to get me here today. I feel 100% to start this competition. No more pain in my adductor.
What is the atmosphere in the group?
The preparation time is much less than in 2018 but the group is living well. We have a great group. The coach took 26 players who are top football players but also great people. We were put in the best conditions to get along very well.
Do you smell something that reminds you of 2018?
Everyone is hungry, everyone wants to start this competition. We will have football matches but also fights. And to win fights, you need good warriors. Everyone is going in the same direction. We can make a difference in front because we have the quality for it, but we will have to be good soldiers, be rigorous.
“We have a very large selection, everyone knows that, with attackers who can score at any time. But this is not enough. »
How hard is it to get into a World Cup?
We are all expected and now even more, since we are defending champions. Personally, I distance myself from everything that surrounds the expectation of the France team. I focus on myself and I think my teammates do the same. It’s always complicated to start a World Cup but by winning this first match, we will start the journey well.
Unconsciously, starting the competition against an opponent less prestigious than Germany could be, for example, at the Euro, isn’t that difficult?
Everyone is aware of the importance of the first match. But it won’t be just that game. Behind, there is Denmark, which we know very well. Then Tunisia. Whether young or old, we know everything about the difficulty of a World Cup. Perhaps the older ones can advise the younger ones to hold their emotions and not watch what surrounds the game and the competition.
Is France one of the favorites of this World Cup in your eyes?
We have a very large selection, everyone knows it, with attackers who can score at any time. But this is not enough. You also have to be solid defensively. Favorites? We know our strengths.
Since the Euro, you have played only four of the last fifteen matches of the Blues. Aren’t you worried that the automatisms will be affected?
I was absent mainly because of injuries but the automatisms are there. I know my teammates perfectly, I know what they want, I am suited to this team. »