16 Seasons of Steve Mandanda in Blue

27 May 2008: first against Ecuador

Called out by Raymond Domenech, Marseillais Steve Mandanda (23) honored his first selection on 27 May 2008 in Grenoble, against Ecuador (2-0), a preparatory match for Euro 2008. Behind Coupet, Landreau and Frey, in the list of 30, he appears to act as the patch and victim appointed at the time of the final coach selection. Come on break, he doesn’t have much to do, but “confident in the grip of the ball” according to L’Équipe, which gives it a score of 5.5. Eventually, he will go to the Euros instead of Landreau.

Next to Mickael Landreau during France-Equateur (2-0). (Team)

2008-2009: champion en route to South Africa

New darling Vélodrome took the lead as the two keepers ahead of him announced their international retirements. He would start with the Blues for the six qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, until the emergence of Hugo Lloris: after a friendly in Sweden (2-3) he started with Austria-France (3-1) on 6 September 2008 where, not helped by his defense, he got a score of 4.

In 2009, during the 2010 World Cup qualification. (A. Mounic/L'Equipe)

In 2009, during the 2010 World Cup qualification. (A. Mounic/L’Equipe)

2009: now substitutes for Lloris

After this season as a starter in blue, Mandanda saw Hugo Lloris pass him on to drop him to the bench for more than 13 years with three coaches: Raymond Domenech, Laurent Blanc (2010-2012) and Didier Deschamps (since 2012). After Euro 2008, he continued for the 2010 World Cup and then Euro 2012 as a substitute for Hugo Lloris before missing the only final phase of his career: the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, due to an injury to his neck. end of May. Without this injury, he could be one of only three players on the French team to tally four World Cup appearances alongside Thierry Henry and Hugo Lloris.

Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda in 2009. (B. Papon/L'Equipe)

Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda in 2009. (B. Papon/L’Equipe)

2018: world champion, playing

From Knysna (South Africa) in 2010 to Istra (Blues base camp in Russia in 2018), the former Le Havre have experienced the worst and the best of French teams. In Russia he played his first World Cup match, under the tutelage of Deschamps, who led him at OM from 2009 to 2012 and with whom he won France in 2010. But also with France’s goalkeeping coach, Franck Raviot, whom he had seen since Espoirs in 2004. It will be a hairdresser’s game against Denmark on 26 June 2018 (0-0) in a tournament where the multiple-time world champion goalkeeper clipped Kylian Mbappé by putting form there when the tricolor nugget tends to flash.

During France-Denmark, 2018. (P. Lahalle / L'Equipe)

During France-Denmark, 2018. (P. Lahalle / L’Equipe)

2021: early retirement…

Since the fall of 2021, Mandanda – who became Pau Lopez’s number 1 bus at OM appears to be no longer part of Deschamps’ plans. But at the age of 37, leaving the club where he spent 14 seasons for Rennes in the summer of 2022, the goalkeeper with 613 caps for Marseille has finally made a “win-win” choice with the Breton club.

Deschamps did remember him in the group, at the end of September 2022 in the Nations League after an injury to Mike Maignan, at the right time. He was a substitute, but by now the coach knew he would take a young and less experienced group to Qatar. He must also fill the leadership void left by Paul Pogba’s absence…

November 30, 2022: derby against Tunisia

Without the injury to Milan’s Mike Maignan (calf), Mandanda will not travel to Qatar for his second World Cup. On 30 November 2022, Hugo Lloris, who could have played Tunisia (0-1, 3rd group game) the 142nd selection and equaled Lilian Thuram’s record in the French team, made way for his replacement (34 selections). To breathe but also to reward it.

In his 16th season with the French team in an 18-year career, “Il Fenomeno” played his second last-phase match for the seventh major tournament (Euro 2008, 2012, 2016, 2021 and World Cup 2010, 2018, 2022). 4 marks for a goalkeeper who, according to L’Équipe, “not having the usual affect”, two years after his last appearance in goal (France-Finland 11 November 2020, 1-2). His name will appear, during the final against Argentina, on the Blues’ game sheet for the 160th time. Record.

Against Tunisia, a 1-0 loss.  Of no consequence for the remainder of the World Cup for the Blues.  (P. Lahalle/Tim)

Against Tunisia, a 1-0 loss. Of no consequence for the remainder of the World Cup for the Blues. (P. Lahalle/Tim)

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