Charlotte Bilbault, the sentry of the Blue

Not too long ago, she was ranked as the Blue’s “second knife.” Today it is among the sharp blades of the French women’s football team that it must be preserved. Charlotte Bilbault has proven that again since the start of the Euro in England (from 6 to 31 July).

At the age of 32, the resident of Saint-Doulchard (Cher) discovers the highest level in the skin of a holder late. But she is one of three outfielders – along with Wendie Renard and Kadidiatou Diani – who started every game. Outside of this statistic, she has mainly forced herself onto the field. More precisely in the middle of the field, where she evolves in the axis, right in front of the defenders.

19 balls found

For the semi-final in which the Blues will face Germany on Wednesday, July 27, Charlotte Bilbault has covered a total of 9.50 kilometers per game, recovered 19 balls – more than any other tricolor midfielder – and committed just four fouls in four encounters, so much data reflect a great slaughter and a “cleanliness” in the game.

Also read: Euro 2022 Women: England qualifies for the final by crushing Sweden

If the player cultivates a certain discretion off the field, in matches, whoever is one of the vice-captains (with Aissatou Tounkara and Marion Torrent) willingly gives a gesture and vote for her partners. “She is a very aggressive player, a fighter on the field. This is an important element in recovery and recovery.” Ella Palis, Charlotte Bilbault’s playmate in Bordeaux for two seasons, is also present at Les Bleues.

“If you’ve got him on the point, you’re having a bad time. She’s rough in contact. She’s a shadow worker, with a very gruff profile.” confirms former international Mélissa Plaza, who played with Charlotte Bilbault in the Under-20 World Cup in Chile in 2008 and also played with her in Montpellier between 2010 and 2014.

“Big cleaning”

If her emergence was late, it is because Charlotte Bilbault was not in the small papers of the various breeders for a long time. She certainly tasted the joys of a first cape at the age of 25, in 2015, but she will only play seven games in the span of three years. A little more present from 2018, she will participate in the 2019 World Cup at home, but with very little playing time and only in the group stage: eight minutes against Norway and a match without challenge against Nigeria, with the Blue already qualified for the 8to be of final.

It was the “clean-up” carried out by the coach, Corinne Deacon, after this World Cup ended with a quarter-final elimination against the United States, which put her at the center of the team: the coach fired several executives, starting with the titular midfielder Amandine Henry, who in November 2020 had denounced his way of leading the French team and the climate that prevailed there.

“I’m at the end of my career, I want to take advantage of the present moment. We are hungry for victories”, Charlotte Bilbault, after quarterfinal against the Netherlands (1-0), July 24

This eviction allowed Charlotte Bilbault, from her height of 1.69 m, to win and be almost irremovable since the end of 2019. And even punctually took the 1er December 2020, during a friendly against Kazakhstan, the captain’s armband worn until then by Amandine Henry, who last appeared in the French group that day.

Also read: Euro 2022 Women: France beats the Netherlands 1-0 after extra time and meets Germany in the semi-finals

A sign of confidence that shows the appreciation the coach has for him. “What I know about Corinne Deacon is that she has always liked combative players, who may shine a little less, but who do not give up and who are present in duels.” testifies Mélissa Plaza, who knew the technician as an assistant to the coach of the Blues Bruno Bini (between 2007 and 2013).

“We don’t always take the best to be able to find a balance at team level”, explained Corinne Deacon in April, attached to the notions of: “dynamic” and “group life”. “Charlotte is a defensive midfielder for Les Bleues. She may not have been that way in the past, but she was able to prove she had the qualities to fill this position.” she added.

“Go as far as possible”

Charlotte Bilbault, described as: “pretty funny” by Mélissa Plaza, intends to crack this euro with full teeth and enjoy every encounter under the blue tunic as if it were the last. While we want to postpone the moment when the last one will arrive.

‘Personally, I’m hungry. I am 32 years old, I am at the end of my career, I want to take advantage of the present moment. Like the group, I want to go as far as possible. We still want more, we are hungry for victories.” she declared the day after the victorious quarterfinal against the Netherlands (1-0), on July 24.

Although she will be back at her former club Montpellier in a few days, Charlotte Bilbault would see herself, before returning to the French Championship, not leaving the light where her performances with the Bleues placed her, and her name and those of her twenty registered. -two teammates, top of the list, on the evening of July 31 at Wembley.

Also read: Women’s football Euro 2022: France finally breaks the glass ceiling of the quarter-finals

She assures him anyway, she is “ready for Wednesday’s game” against Germany. And the Nationalmannschaft der Frauen has been warned: as Mélissa Plaza remembers, the number 14 on the ground ” do not give up “.

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