Posted in Les Bleus! The Path

Douze: “I’ll never shake Löw’s hand,”

“Comment allez-vous aujourd’hui?” Antoine cheerily asked as he passed the joint coach in the hall.

Ray pulled his eyes away from the tablet in his hand to look at the player. “Je vais bien,” he returned his eyes to the screen as he clicked upload on a video. “What about you? Aren’t you going to watch the game?”

“About to. We were wondering if you and Coach will like to watch it with us.”

“I’ll love to, but I have no idea what Marc is up to,”

Said Marcus was snacking on a treat when he walked down the empty hall a few minutes later wondering where everyone was. He found his answer when he heard someone yell “EEEWWWWW!!” in disgust from the open door of Paul Pogba’s room. He walked in just in time to see the German coach scratching himself in the game against Ukraine and appearing to smell his hand. “And that’s why I’ll never shake Löw’s hand,” he coolly said as he stuck a spoon in the tub of honey almond ice cream and brought it to his mouth.

Some of the players turned in his direction. They were sprawl out on the bed and on the floor watching the game. When France played the friendly against Germany last year, some people were left astonished as to why the French coach refused to shake hands with the German coach. Marcus had cheekily replied, “Some habits are hard to die,” referring to Joachim Löw’s personal hygiene behavior in front of cameras.

Ray shrugged. “Maybe that’s the secret to Germany’s winning success,”

Marcus nodded. “Maybe, but I hope they leave by the quarters because I won’t be shaking that man’s hand in the semis.”

And with that, he was gone.

“Does he ever smile at all?” Jallet asked out of the blue.

Ray grinned. “If you win the Euro you’ll see his real smile.”

A feigned gasp came from Giroud. “He actually has a real smile?”

“Yes, that will be the one where the skin crinkles around his eyes,”

The game against Albania proved to be another late winner for the French, but Marcus was not pleased. He wanted goals in the first half, but they just weren’t coming. His decision for starting Pogba and Griezmann on the bench came under scrutiny in the global media, but he had warned the team that “there are no egos on my team. If I leave you out, I don’t want anyone questioning my decision because I won’t explain myself not even if you go to the media. You’re here to win games and give the French something to believe in.”

Ray read some comments online about the match which suggested that Albania played better than France and should’ve at least won a point causing Marcus to erupt. “A point? What game were they watching? Not the same game! The Albanians did nothing impressive. They were hoping for a draw. People are just making things up because they don’t like the French.”

Marcus watched a few games on the downtime and he was left unimpressed with Sweden and Portugal. “The pundits say that Zlatan and Ronaldo are trying to do too much,” he confided to his twin as they ate a late dinner. “Maybe I need glasses because I don’t see them doing much. I told them that Zlatan is a massive fraud. He won’t last long in the Euro.”

Ray had absentmindedly nodded in response as he stuffed his mouth with dipped chocolate strawberries.

“I’m just glad they’re not French,” Marcus dryly muttered.

When the French faced Switzerland in their last group match, Marcus called it a boring scoreless draw and asked more of his team. Sweden left the tournament after the group stage proving Marcus’s theory of Zlatan not living up to his name in big tournaments and the journalists stopped asking questions about the issue not wanting to prove the French coach right. Instead, they chose to bring up the brawls between the English, Russian, and local Marseille fans.

“I am not surprised at the English behavior; given that they normally pull these kinds of stunts in Spain. They can’t seem to hold their liquor, yet they abuse the bottle. We’re under security watch and these fools (English, Russians, and local French fans) are wasting security. I own England a match and I’ll love to draw them for quarters, but I hope they go home early and take their rowdy fans with them.”

An English reporter bristled. “Are you saying that the English aren’t good enough to make the quarter-finals?”

“I am not saying that, given that England is brimming with wonderful young talent which Mr. Hodgson can’t seem to handle, but with the Russians on the heel of leaving, their hooligans will be gone too and we still have the English hooligans to deal with. I want the rest of the tournament to be quiet and save for the others.”

“What about the French hooligans?”

“Unfortunately, they live here and we can’t send them out.”



^ Comment allez-vous aujourd’hui? – How are you today? (French)

^ Je vais bien – I’m fine (French)




My heart simply beats football.

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