From the 2003 Women’s World Cup to the 2015 edition underway in Canada, Laura Georges has been in the thick of all the battles and tears of France’s national football team.
Quarter-final with Germany
On Friday, the many talents of the centre-back, 30, whose family hail from the French Island of Guadeloupe, will be pushed to their limits in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Third-ranked France take on world No 1 Germany, winners in 2003 and 2007 and with a third title in their sights, in a quarter-final clash.
Georges, the most experienced member of the France team with 163 caps, is competing in her third World Cup, the same number France have qualified for. In 2003, in the United States, she made her World Cup bow age 19 against Norway. She has played in all of France’s World Cup games – 13 in total. “It’s good for the statisticians and journalists, but I’ve never won anything and it would be good to leave with something,” she said.
‘A super professional’
France coach Philippe Bergeroo has praised the unrelenting work ethic of Georges. “Laura, it’s experience and power. But it’s above all a state of mind, always in tune with the team and the group ... She’s a super professional.”
When she looks back at 2003, the player whose career was “sponsored” by France’s men’s World Cup winner Lilian Thuram – his roots are also in Guadeloupe – recalls an “unusual” tournament “transferred from China to the US at the last minute”. The 2011 edition in Germany by contrast “was a big event, really something with the ‘wow’ factor”.
Closing the gap
The margin between the top teams and France has narrowed, she said. “There are results at club level with Lyon who won the Champions League” in 2011 and 2012, “which has seen this inferiority complex regarding top teams start to disappear. We showed we could beat German teams and that we have players who can win big matches.”
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