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.”

 

NOTES:

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

^ Je vais bien – I’m fine (French)

REMEMBER, THIS IS FICTION & IT IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH LES BLEUS OR THE FFF.

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Posted in Euro 2016 France, Reports

Euro 2016 is Zlatan’s last major tournament

“Wherever I go, I will always bring the Swedish flag with me and stand with it. For me disappointment doesn’t exist. Only proudness and grateful and very thankful. So thank you.”

Zlatan Ibrahimović confirms he will retire from international duty after Euro 2016. This means that his final game for Sweden could end up being the one against Belgium on Wednesday. It’ll be the 34-year-old’s 116th game. Zlatan is Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals.

Posted in Reports

Ibrahimovic sounds off on age

Last month, I said that when Zlatan is on his A-game and is banging in the goals on a weekly, I tend to forget he is 34-years-old, the verge of retirement for most footballers in this beautiful game. Mr. Z seems to agree with me:

“My body is like a car: the more it is worked, the better it functions. My age is not telling me to stop. Anything can happen – I feel good and I am playing well. We will see what things are like a month or six months from now. I am in shape and I will continue to play until I feel I can contribute. For now football remains the most important thing to me and I will make my decision while thinking like a footballer.”

That is commitment and true passion!

Source: Gazzetta dello Sport

Posted in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Ibrani on target as PSG beat Saint-Étienne to further strengthen their lead at the top

I am still in love with this Ibrani duo!

Zlatan and Cavani were on target last evening over PSG’s hard fought 4-1 victory over Saint-Étienne. Layvin Kurzawa beat Stéphane Ruffier to open the scoreboard in the 23rd minute.

Cavani added the second in the 48th minute after Zlatan unselfishly placed the opportunity on a plate for the Uruguayan. Cavani returned the favor in the 67th minute and Zlatan couldn’t be more delighted to add the 3rd goal. Both Cavani and Zlatan now share 7 goals a’ piece in the Ligue 1. Verratti added an own goal in the 74th minute leaving Trapp with no chance, but Lucas Moura had the last say with his scrumptious header.

When Zlatan plays superbly, I forget that he isn’t 25 anymore.

The Parisians are currently sitting pretty on top of the table with 29 points. Angers is behind the current champions with 22 points. Who would have thought eh? Angers is doing pretty well. Hmmm … though I wonder if it’s safe to say that PSG has already won the ligue?

Top 4 scorers in the Ligue 1:

8 – Michy Batshuayi (Marseille)

7 – Edinson Cavani (PSG)

7 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)

7 – Hatem Ben Arfa (Nice)

Posted in Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

The night belonged to Di Maria as PSG start with a win

Embedded image permalink

Angel Di Maria opened up his account for PSG last evening in the 4th minute against Malmo as the Champions League returned. He could have had another in the 33rd minute had he not seen it go wide. Ibrahimovic missed two brillant chances but he provided the second goal in the 61st minute which Cavani delightfully headed home.

Malmo was where Ibrahimovic started his career in 1999 so I imagine this meeting was bittersweet for him.

GROUP A standings

Real Madrid – 3 points

Paris Saint-Germain – 3 points

Malmo FF – 0 point

FC Shakhtar Donetsk – 0 point

Leaving you with scenes of the goal scorers:

❤ ❤

*** All pics via psg

Posted in Reports

‘Ibrahimovic is a stupid, big-headed, flat-track bully’

Wait, who dare say such things about the arrogant and all mighty Zlatan? Who dare put him on the spot like that?

None other than the outspoken former France international and ex-Nantes goalie, Mr. Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes. He thinks Ibra is holding PSG back and that Ibra does not have what it takes to play alongside a striker. I mean, Cavani has to play wide to accommodate Ibra through the middle, something I’ve been mad about because Cavani is better than what we give him credit for.

Talking to the nosy L’Equipe, Bertrand-Demanes held no punches back:

“I don’t like Ibrahimovic,

“He is so big-headed. The problem is people make him think he’s intelligent, but he’s as thick as two short planks. He’s not a caricature but not far off; he’s a flat-track bully. You can be big-headed when you’re [Luis] Suarez or [Lionel] Messi and score goals against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. 

“I’m sorry but, if you only score a hat-trick against Nancy… If PSG want to progress they need to get rid of him. He is a problem for PSG. You can’t ask him to accept playing up-front alongside someone because he’s too stupid.”

He also lashed out at Florian Thauvin:

“[Ibrahimovic] is like Thauvin,

“They both need a good slap. When you see what Thauvin did to Lille to go to OM, you understand. These people have chick peas for brains and treat others like idiots.”

I’m going to say this, FINALLY! SOMEONE WHO IS BLUNT AND HAVE THE BALLS TO CALL OUT BAD ATTITUDES. I’ve been saying for quite some time now. Zlatan, although a good footballer, have this high and mighty attitude that I don’t like. And people will eat up ANYTHING that comes out of his mouth and sing his praises. Had it been say, Messi or even Cavani trash talking most of the time, blaspheming and putting themselves on a high pedestal, everybody would have come down hard on them. And before anyone trash talk Bertrand-Demanes, if Ibra can say what he wants about people and we accept it, then it is the Frenchman’s opinion to say what he like/don’t like about Ibra.

Although I won’t go as far to call anyone stupid, I do agree with Bertrand-Demanes about Thauvin needing a good slap. So it’s his opinion and although Zlatan might be keeping PSG back in terms of not wanting a strike partner, he can be a decent team player and had it not been for his goals ….