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Mateo believes France ready to put pre-World Cup difficulties behind them
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Stats Perform
Clara Mateo is set to appear at her first World Cup
Clara Mateo is set to appear at her first World Cup

Clara Mateo believes France can put their pre-World Cup difficulties behind them as they look to unite under new head coach Herve Renard.

Les Bleues were embroiled in a pre-tournament saga involving a group of leading players and former coach Corinne Diacre, who oversaw their run to the semi-finals of Euro 2022.

A revolt from several players – including captain Wendie Renard and Eugenie Le Sommer – ultimately led to Diacre's dismissal, with two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner Herve Renard installed in her place.

With the drama over, Mateo is hopeful the squad can put their troubles behind them in Australia and New Zealand, where they face Jamaica, Brazil and Panama in the group stage.

"I think there's a very good understanding between the players and the staff," she told Stats Perform. "We're all doing our bit, and we're all keen to represent France well at this World Cup.

"As far as we're concerned, we're concentrating on ourselves. We know what we have to do, and we'll give it our all on the pitch.

"[Herve Renard] puts a lot of emphasis on the mental aspect and the cohesion within the group. He brings all his experience from all the competitions he's played in before.

"You want to listen to everything he has to say. We want to fight for him. They [the staff] have lots of things to teach us and we're very receptive. We're working to be ready for D-Day."

Mateo described her inclusion in the squad as the fulfilment of a dream, adding that France have learned from their semi-final loss to Germany at last year's European Championships.

"Now that it's become a goal, I think it's a great achievement," she said on making the squad. 

"[But] there's still a long way to go. We want to do well at this World Cup. We're going there with ambitions.

"We've set ourselves the target of reaching the semi-finals, because that's something we haven't done in the past. We want to reach the semi-finals.

"Obviously, in the back of our minds, what we want is to win this World Cup. So we're going to the World Cup with a lot of ambition, and we know that we have this objective."


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