End of Euro for Ngapeth. One of the best elements of the France team is out for the rest of the competition, announced Blues coach Andrea Giani this Thursday. “When a player stops for that long, he needs time to get back to his level. He started retouching the ball on August 6, four weeks ago, it’s not much at this level,” said the Italian technician.
“I made him play two matches to be able to evaluate him, he is not ready to play and be the Earvin that everyone knows (...) He works a lot, but he does not have the necessary time on this tournament to be ready,” he continued.
Member of the French team crowned Olympic champion in 2021 in Tokyo and considered one of the best receiver-attackers on the planet, Ngapeth, 32, did not play for four months due to a tendon fracture quadriceps of the right thigh.
During the group stage of the Euro, he faced Portugal, beating 3 sets to 1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-19, 25-15), and Romania who won 3 sets to 1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-18, 25-21), far from its usual performance (10 points in total).
“After the match against Romania, we talked a lot, he also needed to talk and understand. We were on the same wavelength, we understand each other well,” underlined Giani who until this summer also managed Ngapeth at a club in Modena.
“We are not desperate (by this situation), neither is he, it is a logical and objective situation. I still wish he was on the field,” Giani added.
“He remains important but in a different role: he lights up the team, he gives energy to his teammates, he helps them,” concluded the Italian coach.
The Blues coach is counting on Ngapeth to be forgotten about Timothée Carle who has gained stature in this position, already during the Nations League. He is the best French scorer of this Euro with 50 points.