France hoping to avenge football final loss against Argentina in Hockey World Cup
The French hockey team isn't ready to leave behind the Qatar World Cup loss as yet, and wants to avenge the loss when they face Argentina in their Pool A match.
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina could have scripted one of the most defining moments in the sporting history last month when it lifted the football World Cup after narrowly beating France in almost a one-man show by Kylian Mbappe.
But the French hockey team isn't ready to leave behind the Qatar World Cup loss as yet, and want to avenge the loss on January 20, when it faces Argentina in their Pool A match.
"The big story will be Argentina because of the World cup final in football. We want to change the result. It will be a big game," said Victor Charlet to The Bridge, on his arrival in Bhubaneswar.
Interestingly, France and Argentina have a unique face-off in the history of hockey World Cups. So far, France has played thrice against Argentina in the World Cup (1971, 1990 and 2018), and won all the three times.
In the previous edition in 2018 in Bhubaneswar, the French, who were ranked lowest in the tournament, stunned the then Olympic Champions Argentina 5-3 at Kalinga stadium, giving the hockey fans one of the major upsets of that edition.
This time, they are drawn in Pool A along with Australia, South Africa, and of course Argentina.
"I see Australia as a big opponent. We have prepared but they are very strong. The target is mostly Argentina and South Africa," he said.
Adding on the team's strength, he said experience will count this time.
"We are more experienced. For some of the players, this will be their second world cup experience. We are confident about the team and that is a big difference from the previous one."
France will begin its world cup campaign on the inaugural day on January 13 against Australia. They will face South Africa on January 16 and play Argentina four days later.
"The first goal of the team is to get out of the pool. We have to take it match by match. So, first is the big one against Australia," Charlet concluded.