Starting in central defense this Saturday, in front of his Nice audience, Jean-Clair Todibo had a rather calm evening: the Blues signed the largest victory in the history of the French team by beating Gibraltar (14-0 ). A record which the players became aware of at half-time.
Before the match, no one had in mind this 10-0 in 1995 against Azerbaijan, with doubles from Frank Leboeuf and Youri Djorkaeff. But at the break, the Blues focused on one objective: establishing the largest victory in the history of the France team. Which they achieved perfectly by pulverizing Gibraltar (14-0).
“At half-time, we said ‘why not’”
Established as a central hinge in Nice, in his stadium and in front of his audience, Jean-Clair Todibo recounts this change in the locker room: “We respected the instructions, which were to respect the opponent. We played at our level of football, it gives this result. Before the match started, we weren’t aware (of the record), we weren’t focused on that. But at half-time we said ‘why not’. We had the means, we did it, it’s good for us. We had to stay focused, not give the opponent the chance to hope… even if at one point, I don’t think there was much hope anymore. We couldn’t let the opponent score to keep the clean sheet once again, that was the objective.”
Author of a very serious match even if he was in little danger, the Nice defender will have scraped away valuable playing time in the race for Euro 2024. This Saturday, he honored his second selection (the first, c was against Germany in September). “After each match, after Germany I wanted to taste this jersey again and with the victory, we want to play even more,” he confides in the mixed zone. He will seek a third cap on Tuesday in Greece, for the last day of the qualifiers.