World Cup 2022: Tchouameni: France’s new driving force in midfield

When Didier Deschamps decided to go for the magnificent four in his World Cup XI: Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud, the first thing he did was to go and talk to Aurelien Tchouameni to limit his moves from midfield forward because he was going to be in charge as the only central midfielder to support the team.

If against Australia he was a bit more elusive, his game against Denmark was that of the perfect midfielder.

According to Opta data, the Real Madrid player completed one of the best games in terms of effectiveness in a World Cup. In fact, he only missed one pass out of the 67 he made, recovered nine balls and made only one foul.

The obscure task entrusted to him by Deschamps was cause for discussion in the mixed zone. It was Griezmann himself who raised his voice for those who weren’t involved in the scoring.

“Everyone’s effort has been extraordinary, it’s a triumph for everyone,” said the Atletico Madrid player, who is also sacrificing himself to lend a hand to the former Monaco player and Adrien Rabiot in the wide area of the field.

“I can do many more things, but the coach has asked me to do a very precise role and the most important thing is to respect it. If I’m frustrated? Not at all, if we win the World Cup.

“In the match against Australia I had to be more attentive to the transitions and I think that against Denmark I was a little more offensive. If I have to stay back more, I’ll have to do it.”

A meteoric trajectory

With injuries to N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, France’s midfield is possibly the weakest area of the world champions.

The truth is that Tchouameni is constantly moving up the ladder. From Monaco to Real Madrid, where he has won a starting place, and now he is enjoying his first World Cup with France.

The player knows that his adventure in white has been crucial to adapt to this new role entrusted to him by Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, where he has more freedom to reach the penalty area, and now Deschamps.

The lessons of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have certainly paid off. “You learn every day working with them,” the player has commented on more than one occasion.