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Bayern Munich-Real Madrid: Upamecano in the tough, Tchouameni precious... The form of the French before the clash

This is the question lodged in the back of the mind of every supporter of the France team, of every player concerned too, and especially of Didier Deschamps: how are the French people of the big European clubs doing? With just over a month to go before Euro 2024 (June 14 – July 14), the question can give rise to serious concerns or great hopes.

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Bayern Munich-Real Madrid: Upamecano in the tough, Tchouameni precious... The form of the French before the clash

This is the question lodged in the back of the mind of every supporter of the France team, of every player concerned too, and especially of Didier Deschamps: how are the French people of the big European clubs doing? With just over a month to go before Euro 2024 (June 14 – July 14), the question can give rise to serious concerns or great hopes. Seven Tricolores, including two injured, will be at the heart of the Champions League semi-final first leg between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid this Tuesday (9:00 p.m.). We take stock of the different states of form.

At Real Madrid, there are three of them, and Carlo Ancelotti loves them. Ferland Mendy seemed on the downward slope last year, after missing three crucial months through injury (February to April) and while his contract ended in June 2025. Fran Garcia, a 24-year-old Spanish international trained at the club, was supposed to compete with him. Ultimately, there is no photo. Mendy, 28, has put his chronic irregularity in the closet.

An irregularity primarily physical. The problems deprived him of numerous selections for the Blues, to the point that, even fit, he was not on the trip to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. A difficult phase largely behind him, which makes him “the best left back in the world defensively” according to Carlo Ancelotti. “He is complete and very strong in one-on-ones, but also in two-on-ones which often come his way, because he has Vinicius in front,” said the Madrid coach last February.

SEE ALSO – Real's nice collective goal concluded by Mendy against Atlético in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup last January (5-3)

“I will say it again, Mendy is the best in the world in his position,” insisted Ancelotti after the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Manchester City, of which the former Lyonnais did not miss a minute. No more than Eduardo Camavinga, a little less consistent, but breathtaking in the first quarter against City (3-3). Recovery, recovery, technique and physical volume: Camavinga has it all, no one doubts it.

The all-terrain midfielder, who still sometimes helps out on the left side as against Barcelona on April 21 (3-2 victory), is close to reaching this final milestone which would establish him among the captains in his position. His great experience (137 matches at Real, 240 professionally) would almost make us forget his age, 21 years old. That's three fewer than another key Merengue man, Aurélien Tchouameni. He also filled the holes, more in central defense.

“It seems like he’s always played it. He is a very intelligent player,” praised Ancelotti in February. “I told him he played there because it was an emergency situation. Now I have to find another excuse to make him play in this position...", joked the Italian. Dedicated to the role of sentinel, to fill the gaps and maintain the serenity of his family, he became the scorer of a fantastic strike to deliver Real to Mallorca on April 13 (0-1). A goal after which a young Mallorcan supporter mimed monkey gestures towards the Frenchman. Not enough to disturb him. On or off the field, Tchouameni is above the fray.

At Bayern Munich, a true French bastion for years, we have never been so disappointed by what France brings. Recruited this winter from Galatasaray for €30 million, Sacha Boey played two matches before getting injured. A muscle tear in the left thigh from which the right side (23 years old) has still not recovered. He joined Kingsley Coman in the infirmary, whose season is one to forget.

The 2022 world champion tore a ligament in his left knee at the end of January. Then when he returned in April, it was the right adductor that failed. Here he is uncertain for the Euro, a competition that Dayot Upamecano will compete in. But in what state ? The Blues defender received two red cards in a row, against Lazio Rome in the round of 16 first leg of C1 on February 14 (1-0 defeat) and against Bochum in the Bundesliga on February 18 (3-2 defeat).

“He may have some slumps but he is a great professional, a great player. He has a great personality,” reassured Julian Nagelsmann in March, Germany coach who had Upamecano under his command at Leipzig then at Bayern. The excitement of the native of Évreux led Thomas Tuchel to do without him during the two matches against Arsenal in the quarterfinals (2-2, 1-0). “At the moment, he is making too many big individual errors which decide matches,” admitted Tuchel, before qualifying: “I hope he knows and feels that we fully support him. Now is not the time to rub salt in the wound.”

The only funny moments at Bayern at the moment are to the credit of the youngest: Mathys Tel, 19 years old since last Saturday. For his second season in Bavaria, the former Rennais has logically progressed: 28 matches including 2 starts and 6 goals in 2022-23, and already 38 matches including 7 starts, 9 goals and 5 assists in 2023-24. And this despite the arrival of one of the best strikers in the world, Harry Kane, last summer.

Candidate for the Paris Olympics with the Bleuets, Tel experienced a more delicate period during the winter. “Completely normal process,” Tuchel swept away, satisfied with “this carelessness and this desire to do something, even in ten minutes.” A “supersub” role that Bayern could need against Real.

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