He was supposed to have great vision in mind when he succeeded Didier Deschamps as the coach of the French national football team that was excited to meet him simply because they were told he was like their peer in terms of age, but when he walked into the dressing room for the first time on that warm afternoon bringing in the uninvited cold air of a walk-in freezer, all the boys scampered behind their French captain and pushed him forward to have a word with the new coach. It was a well-known fact that no one intimidated Hugo Lloris although the new coach could squash him like a bug by the way he was scrutinizing everyone with blank ocean blue eyes and unsmiling lips. At twenty-eight, he could not lay claims to the youngest-ever international football manager title. That title went to a British amateur footballer at the age of twenty-five when he took on duties to coach the tiny Pacific island of Pohnpei.
After what seemed like an eternity in waiting for their new coach’s first words, the team grew frustrated at the brewing cold air around them. With his poker expression still intact, their new coach simply said, “I can’t believe you lost to Germany at the World Cup.”
A collective gasp went around the room at the greeting.
“Hey, this isn’t any way to introduce yourself to the team.”
“Hmm, and what is the right way, Pogba?” when steel blue eyes rested on the footballer, the youngster shivered and backed off. “Thought so. Now take your lazy asses out to the training ground for your first session of the day.”
The team started to file out obediently then stopped. Slowly, they turned back towards the lunatic who was supposedly going to lead them to Euro 2016 glory.
“Yes, why did you stop? The door is that a’ way and it’s wide open.”
Lloris frowned when Olivier Giroud ribbed him in the side none too gently. “We didn’t get your name.”
“You can call me Sir.”
“You can call me Sir,” Pogba mimicked in a mocking British tone as he did his lap around the field causing Blaise Matuidi and Karim Benzema to snicker. “Who in their right mind show up as the new coach of a prestigious football team such as ours and act as if he owns the world? He should be honored to even be in our presence!”
“I don’t think he would be,” Benzema supplied. “He looks tough and he’s going to run us into the ground if we don’t give him what he wants.”
Pogba sucked his teeth just as their captain jogged up beside them. “What do you think of the new coach, Hugo?”
“Zut!” Hugo Lloris playfully exclaimed causing them to laugh. “On a serious note, I know that we’re going to miss Deschamps, but we have to be united and give our new coach the benefit of the doubt.”
“You goody two shoes,” Pogba joked with the easy-going French captain.
“Say what you will, but at the end of the day he is the coach and I’m going to make sure you kids respect him.” Lloris pointed at a smirking Benzema. “That goes for you too, Benz.” He jogged off to join Steve Mandanda.
“Hey!” Benzema called after him. “I’m not a kid. I’m certainly older than Pogba!”
“Then that makes you my elder.”
A blast of laughter came from Blaise Matuidi and Olivier Giroud causing their teammates to look their way. Lloris fondly shook his head at the little group before starting on his stretches.
Benzema shook his head. “On a serious note though, what is he doing here?”
“Coaching you,” The foursome jumped not noticing that their new coach had jogged up beside them. “You ladies caught up good as yet?”
Giroud handsomely grinned.
“Not going to work on me, Giroud. I am immune.” The new coach looked at his watch. “I don’t like losing. If you lose me the first game, I am not going to spare any of you.”
The little gang gulped and broke up as they continue their laps in respective silence. This coach might be young, but he definitely didn’t take the job to have fun.
If my memory serves me well, Paul Pogba was not called up for the Brazil and Denmark friendlies, however, I think he would’ve made a great impression for this fiction from the get-go, hence the reason of his early presence.
REMEMBER, THIS IS FICTION & IT IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH LES BLEUS OR THE FFF.