- Eugenie Le Sommer has won everything there is to win with Olympique Lyonnais
- The France forward is dreaming of a maiden world title for Les Bleues
- Striker would swap all her club honours for glory at France 2019
Eugenie Le Sommer has not stopped scoring goals and winning trophies since joining Lyon in 2010. In lifting seven French league championships, six national cups and four UEFA Women’s Champions League titles with her club, she has scored the small matter of 215 goals in 238 matches. The question is, would the France international swap her hugely impressive club honours for a home triumph at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™?
“That’s a tough one,” she told FIFA.com with a laugh. After pausing to think her answer though, she replied: “I have to say yes. I’d take the World Cup because I can always go back to my club and win more titles with them. The World Cup is the most beautiful of competitions. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
While their fourth place at Germany 2011 marked a turning point in terms of their ambitions, Les Bleues have endured nothing but disappointment on the international scene since then. “We’re ranked among the favourites for every competition even though we haven’t won anything yet,” said the 28-year-old goal machine. “We’ve got the talent but that’s not enough. There are still certain things that we need to do without thinking about them and a style of our own. Understanding each other on the pitch is perhaps something that we’ve lacked up to now.”
France fell in the quarter-finals yet again at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, a setback that led to Olivier Echouafni being replaced as Bleues’ coach by Corinne Diacre. Reflecting on that change, Le Sommer said: “You have to start over in every way when a new coach comes in. You have to get to know each other and understand what the expectations are. The good thing is it’s given us a fresh start and a whole new dynamic. And we’ve still got time before the World Cup, so that’s good. Corinne Diacre wants us to put in a big performance at home. She wants us to be professional on and off the pitch. We’re working a lot on the defensive side of things and we each have clearly defined roles so that we can make the transition to attack better.”
— Eugénie Le Sommer (@ELS_9_FRANCE) November 23, 2017
In a bid to reverse France’s fortunes, Diacre has had no hesitation in ringing the changes and bringing some fresh faces in, though Le Sommer is very much a part of her plans. In fact, with the squad getting younger, the striker’s standing in it has only increased. “A lot of new players have come into the side but everyone’s settled in easily enough,” explained the striker. “The mood is very good because everyone is doing their best to show that they belong in the team, which is pushing everyone on.
“A lot of the new faces have already won some big trophies, whether it’s at U-17, U-19 or U-20 level, and they can bring that experience to the team,” she added. “There’s a lot of talent, but they’re not going to stop there, and they’re working hard to stay in the team. The coach has made it clear at our get-togethers that the door is open to everyone, in both directions, and that’s made for some healthy and constructive competition.”
That competition has not blunted Le Sommer’s fabled goalscoring abilities, which have made her, along with Marie-Laure Delie, a warm favourite to overtake Marinette Pichon all-time France record of 81 goals. Yet the desire to break that individual record pales in comparison to her hopes for World Cup success on home soil. “I more or less know how many goals I’ve scored but beating a record is not an objective for me,” she said, wrapping things up. “What I want is to win a competition with my country and to perform well in the blue jersey. If I score, then so much the better. And if I don’t score and the team wins, then that’s great too.”
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.