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Mbappé at Real, the last of Karabatic with the Blues… What will happen in 2022 (or not)

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We remade 2021 in paints. It is now time, as a succulent meal tray looms in front of Stéphane Bern in rags in the stables of the Château de Chantilly (true story, we watched the TV program), to look at 2022. We do not yet know if we will be able to attend, but we will be entitled to a hell of a lot of great competitions over the next twelve months. What to try to imagine the significant moments for our French athletes. Guaranteed at 0%, of course.

January: Niko Karabatic’s last dance with the Blues

Like any good calendar year that respects itself, 2022 starts with a men’s hand tournament. One Euro, in this case. The Blues, Olympic champions six months ago, will try to erase in Hungary and Slovenia the industrial accident which punctuated their last continental outing (elimination from the hens in January 2020). They will be able to count for that on their guide for almost 20 years, the immense Nikola Karabatic. While he had announced his international retirement for the post-Olympics, the PSG player, 37, reversed his decision.

“I just felt like I didn’t want to stop. It’s a feeling that we have in ourselves: the fact of taking pleasure, of feeling that we still have a little under our feet. I wanted to extend that until the end of the season, he had justified in September. I also wanted to experience another competition with the public. Tokyo was great, but it was behind closed doors. The day I quit, I wish there was a bit of an audience, it would be cool if there was a bit more emotion. “While waiting for the party in Paris in June, we will try to take advantage of what looks like his last campaign with the blue jersey. Unless he pushes until Paris 2024 for the sixth Olympic Games, but then he will have to give his body to science to verify that we are indeed dealing with a human being.

February: The end in blood sausage of the Winter Olympics

Between the Covid and the diplomatic bickering, we don’t really feel them these Winter Games in Beijing. This is roughly how we see it: Monday, February 7, Tessa Worley defeats the curse and offers her first Olympic medal, in gold, on the giant slalom. On Wednesday February 9, Antoine Adelisse made history by winning the first big air title at stake. Thursday February 10, Alexis Pinturault finished the game of alpine skiing by finally hitting gold on the combined. Sunday February 13, Emilien Jacquelin and Julia Simon slam two hours apart a monumental double on the men’s and women’s biathlon pursuits.

In short, France left to break its Pyeongchang record (15 medals including 5 gold). But a case of Covid detected in an American athlete two days before the end of the events, the first out of 45,763 tests, twists the organizers. The remaining events are canceled, all medals distributed must be returned. Unfair? Shouldn’t worry about the Uyghurs …

May: PSG’s victory in the Champions League

No we’re kidding.

(and yes, she was easy)

June: The signing of Kylian Mbappé at Real Madrid

In ten years, when Kyky will have scored his 800th goal for Real just after having equaled Messi in the number of Golden Balls, we will look back on this summer 2022 by wondering for the thousandth time how PSG managed to leave spin for free the future best player in the world in full force of age. Leonardo may well say that he still believes in it, not many people are under any illusions. The game developed does not make you dream despite the flashy recruitment, the balance of the locker room is as uncertain as the investment of some in the field … At this stage, we do not see what would have made Mbappé change his mind about last summer. There is only one uncertainty: will the champagne chilled by Florentino Perez five years ago still be good?

July: The return of the great Thibaut Pinot

But no ? But if. Sure. Our national TiboPino was not going to abandon us like that, crying while watching for the 250th time the summary of the Tour de France 2019. After stopping from April to August to definitively treat his damn back pain inherited from his fall in Nice in 2020, the Groupama-FDJ climber returned to competition at the end of the year.

Just enough to embark on the one that arrives with the hope of breaking the curse on the Great Loop. And make us shudder at the prospect of seeing Marc Madiot leave a vocal chord at the top of Alpe d’Huez on July 14. “There is a good chance that we will be with him at the start of the Tour”, announced the boss when presenting the course in October. Concerning us, the CPs are already installed.

December: The consecration for Karim Benzema

The League of Nations is good, but Benz is not the type to settle for competitions for children. After a monstrous year 2021 in club and marked by his comeback with the Blues – 9 goals in 13 games since June anyway – the captain of Real lives only for the next World Cup in Qatar. “Considering the team we have, it must be in our head, had he not hidden after the last international match of the year against Finland. We will prepare well and always try to have goals and so it goes through the World Cup, of course. »The photos of KB9 in his Bugatti will have yet another face with the Jules Rimet trophy on the dashboard…

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