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FIFA World Cup 2022 – News – Sagnol: We have no chance if we don’t take risks

8 min read
FIFA World Cup 2022™ - News - Sagnol: We have no chance if we don't take risks
  • Willy Sagnol is Georgia’s new coach
  • His staff up in opposition to Sweden and Spain in Qatar 2022 qualifying
  • The Frenchman talks about qualifying for the World Cup and reminiscences of the match

On 15 February this yr, Willy Sagnol was formally appointed Georgia head coach. A shock transfer you may assume, till you be taught that the previous Bayern Munich captain was satisfied to take on the position by two folks he holds in excessive regard from his on-subject battles within the Bundesliga: particularly Levan Kobiashvili, now president of the Georgian Football Federation, and his vice-president Alexander Iashvili.

The process entrusted to Sagnol by the 2 esteemed former Georgia internationals was to get the Crusaders again on observe after the agony of simply lacking out on UEFA EURO 2020 qualification and to carry out nicely within the upcoming qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Georgia get their marketing campaign underway this Thursday with a visit to Sweden, earlier than enjoying Spain three days later after which travelling to Greece on 31 March.

It all factors to an thrilling problem for the 58-time capped Frenchman and veteran of two World Cups (2002 and 2006), as he explains on this unique FIFA.com interview, the place he additionally shares his reminiscences of the sport’s flagship occasion.

FIFA.com: How did you come to be appointed Georgia coach?

Willy Sagnol: I used to be seeking to take cost of a nationwide staff quite than a membership. The Georgian Federation is headed up by former gamers who I steadily got here up in opposition to in Germany. There was an instantaneous sense of belief with them, and I accepted the job with immense pleasure and ambition.

You began your teaching profession as assistant to the France U-20 staff earlier than taking cost of Les Espoirs (U-21s). You then managed Bordeaux for 2 seasons and later had a spell as assistant coach with Bayern Munich. What prompted your return to worldwide soccer?

I actually loved my time on the French Football Federation. International soccer capabilities in a method that fits me, and it was one thing I wished to expertise once more. I’m in a rustic that wishes to proceed to develop and the place I can play a useful position. For me, it is a medium-time period undertaking, even if nowadays there’s no such factor as lengthy-time period. The present precariousness of membership teaching positions makes that position increasingly sophisticated. Nice initiatives or possible initiatives don’t all the time arrive on the proper time.

What was the temper within the nationwide staff and nation once you arrived?

I sensed monumental disappointment and unhappiness at how EURO qualification had slipped by means of their fingers of their play-off ultimate. However, this demonstrates that qualification was certainly attainable and that the potential is there. There are increasingly younger folks rising, and dealing with them is all the time rewarding as a result of you may see them progressing as you go alongside. The undertaking right here appeals to me as a result of it got here alongside on the proper time and since it’s a practical problem. We’re nicely conscious that we’re not going to win the World Cup, however there’s a want at each federation and staff degree to proceed the progress.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti and assistant coach Willy Sagnol of Muenchen chat

© Getty Images

Have you been given a particular aim for these World Cup qualifiers?

No, there was no set aim as a result of we know we’re in a troublesome group, with groups like Spain and Sweden, who have much more expertise than us. I might say that our mission is to make qualification troublesome for others. We have sufficient high quality to… we have bold younger gamers, so we needn’t set limits for ourselves. We wish to have our personal enjoying model and identification, no matter who we face.

How would you outline this identification?

The aim of the nationwide staff is to adapt to trendy soccer, i.e. a transition sport with fast ahead strikes. The gamers additionally have to have self-confidence and imagine of their qualities, that are nice, and to take risks in video games. A staff like Georgia has no chance if it doesn’t take risks. You cannot simply defend and hope for a foul by your opponent. You have to impress errors by being bold within the sport. Since my arrival, I really feel that everybody shares a want to vary course. Of course, it’s going to require convincing outcomes as a result of they’re what provide you with confidence. Georgians have numerous delight, and there are gamers who’re beginning to emerge on the European scene and who have to be the driving pressure for this.

What can be consequence for Georgia in these qualifiers?

Based solely on efficiency, consequence can be to safe third place. An excellent end result can be to purpose greater, however it’s nonetheless very untimely to name this, particularly within the present local weather with journey extra sophisticated and demanding, and the absence of followers. I have numerous respect for the professionals at present enjoying all their video games in empty stadiums. It’s not simple and requires quite a bit when it comes to self-sacrifice and mentality. But even in these troublesome circumstances, we should be capable of succeed.

Your World Cup idol?

My idol was Roger Milla. I can nonetheless see him dancing after his aim for Cameroon, at 40 years of age! For me, this is likely one of the nice moments in World Cup historical past. He was a veritable legend and really well-known in France.

Your favorite World Cup match?

France-Brazil 1986, as a result of it’s one of many first matches I keep in mind. I used to be 9 on the time. Being in Mexico, it was very late for us however I used to be in a position to watch it with my dad. Zico’s missed penalty [during normal time], Socrates’ missed spot kick [in the shootout], Luis Fernandez’s pleasure… These are highly effective photos.

The greatest participant of all time?

There can solely be one, and that’s the King, Pele. Living as we do in a world the place media and pictures are essential, you get the impression that there are various stars at present, however they’re probably not comparable with the Pele of that period. He transcended everybody, his staff-mates, his opponents in addition to the followers. He was fabulous.

How do you look again in your worldwide profession nowadays?

I used to be extraordinarily lucky to have the ability to take part in two World Cups and two EUROs. There had been no titles on the finish of them, however in comparison with my childhood goals, it was fabulous. I used to be proud to signify my nation and to put on the jersey. When you play at a World Cup, from the primary day to the final day, you are feeling such as you’re flying. It’s fantastic. In 2006, we got here right down to earth with a bang, nonetheless. I felt numerous disappointment about not having the ability to get a World Cup winners star for my nation, however with the passage of time, what endures most is the nice human journey I skilled with fantastic staff-mates.

At that World Cup France started with two attracts… How did you handle to maintain believing and keep the course?

Everyone is aware of that it’s not all the time the staff that begins greatest that goes the furthest. We believed in ourselves and our qualities. We knew that, although the standard of our play wasn’t nice, we weren’t far off. Something clicked within the third sport and we felt liberated from then on. There was numerous maturity on this staff and, whereas we weren’t essentially pondering we’d go all the way in which, the victory over Spain [in the last 16] gave us numerous confidence as a staff.

In hindsight, do you continue to blame Zinedine Zidane for his sending-off within the ultimate?

What I keep in mind, 15 years on, is that I performed with probably the greatest gamers on this planet, who wasn’t only a nice participant but additionally an ideal man. Maybe his rush of blood to the pinnacle within the ultimate made him human once more – and human beings all the time make errors. Unfortunately, his got here on the flawed time. Even if there was numerous anger after the sport, we could not faux that we’d undoubtedly have gained if it hadn’t occurred. Football is a staff sport, and it is a message that we should all the time convey to younger folks: we’re answerable for our efficiency, however we’re additionally answerable for the staff’s efficiency. When you have a rush of blood on the sector, it penalizes your complete staff at the start.

Is he the very best participant you’ve got ever performed with?

Unquestionably, and by a great distance. We can discuss Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who’re extraordinary gamers who’ll rating as a result of they got down to rating numerous objectives. With Zidane, his main goal was to make the staff play nicely. That’s why I have him as my primary. He might have accomplished his personal factor much more and been way more individualistic in his play, as a result of he had the standard to do it, however he had that want to make the staff play nicely and make his staff-mates higher. For that alone, he deserves a statue.

Willy Sagnol and Zinedine Zidane

© imago photos

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