French President Emmanuel Macron said in a television interview broadcast on Sunday that he would go to Russia “when France reached the quarterfinals”.
“I will go to support them,” Macron told the Telefoot weekly programme, without allowing for the possibility that France might be knocked out before then.
Macron also envisioned himself alongside manager Didier Deschamps in the French dressing room in Moscow before the final on July 15.
“First I’ll let Didier Deschamps talk to them and I’ll think very hard about the three words… ‘Unity, effort and confidence’,” Macron said, repeating the phrase he used when he visited Les Bleus last Tuesday at their training centre in Clairefontaine, near Paris.
“I have confidence in them,” he said. “I sensed a team that wanted to succeed and bring back the cup.
“We’re not going just to participate, we are going to win,” said the president, echoing a sentiment he expressed when he asked the squad to “bring back a second star”.
In 1998, Jacques Chirac became the first French president to visit the French squad before a World Cup when he went to Clairefontaine. He also joined them in the dressing room after they had won the final.