Aimé Jacquet is very discreet. His speech is rare and his recent media appearances few. Tuesday, the coach of the French team during the coronation in 1998, aged 81, was present to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Training Institute (INF) in Clairefontaine. Although he did not want to speak to the media, he still answered a few questions to the FFF communications department. Before leaving home, near Annecy, in complete discretion. Without waves. “When I came back here this morning, I was so moved and turned to the past, which is never my case,” he jokes about Clairefontaine’s weight and his years at the castle. I like to project myself, to look forward, but today I remembered all these people who have magnificently shared their knowledge with this beautiful house. It is indestructible and our football relies on it.”

Asked about the success of French football, both on training, particularly at the INF and on the results of the selections, more precisely the France A team led by its former captain from 1998, Aimé Jacquet does not hide his enthusiasm. “As long as the link is not broken, we can go very, very far, and French football demonstrates this at the highest level: what Didier Deschamps is doing at the head of our Blues, all the progress our girls have made… “It’s extraordinary.”

During the day, “Mémé”, as some of his former players call him, took the time to chat with Didier Deschamps at the castle and meet a few players, notably the captain, Kylian Mbappé. Without saying too much, he also returned to this famous 50th anniversary, which brought together more than 600 guests on Tuesday in Clairefontaine. “We, the French, have a great tendency to denigrate ourselves even though we have received here, in Clairefontaine, all the countries of the world to show them our know-how and share it with as many people as possible,” he recalls with pride. . Days like today are essential: we must celebrate everything that has been done and done well by our football for half a century.”