The captain of the Blues delivers his feelings before the final of the Euro against Spain, Sunday (8:30 p.m.).
Does this final give the feeling that it is the match of a lifetime?
Evan Fournier : Not at all, I’m much calmer than after the game against Poland. I was more apprehensive in the semi-finals because I simply lost more. I saw myself missing out on great things and it marks. When I was eliminated for the first time with the France team in 2014, I missed out on a world final. The following year, we lost at home a semi-final of a Euro that we were supposed to win. Rebelote in 2019 (at the World Cup). In the final, there is no calculation or stress to have, you go for it and that’s it. I dreaded the semi-finals a lot, because if we lost, afterwards, there was the match for third place, which is horrible. Because you’re fighting for nothing. Finishing third is cool to tell people you’re bringing something home but in truth it doesn’t count.
Meeting Spain, in addition to the final, is it still so special?
The rivalry with Spain is more about the elders. Friday evening, Boris (Diaw), it looked like he had become a player again. He wanted to put on his shorts, his shoes and put his arms (in the face, editor’s note). The rivalry is very marked among them, our coach, the physiotherapists and the stewards. They had a lot of moments against Spain, rather bad, and it shows at home. We players much less. Thomas (Heurtel), Rudy (Gobert) and me, we arrive in 2014 and we win against them. Admittedly, we lost in 2015 but it’s not the same. I’m not even sure that, on the Spanish side, there is such a big rivalry among the players. We are aware of the history but I have no hatred against them in my heart.
By making a complete match, we can step on everyone.
Is the winding journey to get there any wonder?
Each competition has its history, I am very wary of preparations during which everything goes well. Like group stages where you step on everyone. You have to learn from your mistakes and when you win, it’s more difficult. Even if we had a lot of empty moments, including in the round of 16 and in the quarters, the important thing is to progress. Now we find ourselves in a rather comfortable position. We know each other and we know that we have room. The fact of having had a lot of bad spells reinforces our idea that by playing a complete match, we can walk on everyone.