Tag Archives: France

On this day… 9th July 2006

9 Jul

The 2006 World Cup was an odd one for me. Having followed the tournament intently from the start, I flew to the United States the morning after England’s quarter-final exit (incidentally seeing the passenger next to you produce a newspaper with the headline of End of the World just before take-off does not lead to carefree flying) and subsequently the semi-finals and final itself barely registered with me. I watched the final flat-out on a motel bed in San Antonio, air conditioning on full, as I wilted in the early afternoon Texan heat on this day, four years ago. Continue reading


On this day… 8th July 1982

8 Jul

A quick quiz question to start, what has happened to the following fourteen nations that has not happened to any other; Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia? The answer is that they have lost a World Cup Finals penalty shoot-out. Prior to the introduction of the penalties, drawn knockout matches were replayed, as happened several times at the 1938 World Cup. With concerns over scheduling FIFA introduced penalties as a method of separating drawn World Cup ties in 1978, but it was not needed, indeed not since the 1938 tournament had a match remained level at the end of scheduled play. And so the first ever World Cup finals penalty shoot-out took place at the end of an epic semi-final, four years later, on this day in 1982. Continue reading

Match Report: Uruguay 1-0 Mexico / South Africa 2-1 France

22 Jun

And so it’s come down to this, the denouement of Group A, four teams in action but only two can be successful. So congratulations to Mexico and Uruguay as I’ve chosen to turn my attention to your game, on the basis that, French implosion aside, the other match can only get interesting if this one does. The downside of this is that in doing so I’ve let myself in for another ninety minutes of Peter Drury and Jim Beglin for the second time in less that twenty-four hours. I should have watched this at work, then at least I could have put in a complaint for harassment in the workplace. Continue reading

Match Preview 34: South Africa vs France (Group A)

22 Jun

When your starting forward allegedly tells the manager to “go fuck yourself, you dirty son of a whore”, it suggests squad relations are a tad strained. Nicolas Anelka has subsequently been sent home for his comments, but the fall-out continues, with the players  refusing to train yesterday as a show of support for the potty mouthed Chelsea frontman.  Continue reading

On this day… 21st June 1970

21 Jun

For many people the 1970 World Cup in Mexico remains the benchmark tournament. It had a lot going for it of course, the first to be fully broadcast in colour and the first overseas tournament that didn’t involve a two-day wait for film highlights to be ferried back. It saw the debut of the iconic Adidas Telstar matchball, the template for every cartoon football ever drawn since. And of course it was won by what most perceive to be the greatest team, Brazil, led by the man commonly regarded as the greatest player Pele. On this day, forty years ago, Brazil were crowned World Cup Champions. Continue reading

Match Preview 20: France vs Mexico (Group A)

17 Jun

France should enjoy more freedom against an open and attacking Mexico side, after struggling to break down a very defensive Uruguay in their first game. Now the first round of matches have concluded, France’s opening game draw has been put in perspective.  In hindsight, it is not the worst result one of the supposed big nations has achieved, but they will need to get points against Mexico if they want to proceed. Continue reading

Match Report: France 0-0 Uruguay

11 Jun

Game two then, the BBC’s first, and as Gary Lineker prepares to head over to the stadium commentator Steve Wilson can already be heard speaking from somewhere beyond the lens to ask “Will we get a cue or not?” It would seem not. Back in the studio it appears through his choice to converse via broken English and sign-language that Alan Hansen has mistakenly, and rather painfully, understood Emanuel Adabayor to be deaf rather than Togolese. Thankfully Steve Wilson finally gets his cue and we’re off to the stadium for the National Anthems where the Uruguayan’s far from pitch perfect singing causes noticeable giggles amongst the mascots . Continue reading

Match Preview 02: France vs Uruguay (Group A)

11 Jun

After a stuttering qualifying campaign and with the continued presence of bullet proof star-gazer, Raymond ‘Parker from Thunderbirds‘ Domenech, at the helm, France enter this summer’s festival of football with an air of unpredictability. This notion has been exacerbated by a pre-tournament injury to midfield mainstay Lassana Diarra, which has forced a change in both tactics and personnel.  Continue reading

Match Preview 01: South Africa vs Mexico (Group A)

11 Jun

After their rather anaemic performances in last year’s Confederations Cup, belief gathered that South Africa would be eliminated in the first round of this summer’s tournoi – a potentially disappointing end to the Rainbow Nation’s first appearance under the footballing spotlight. That’s not to say that they are a poor side, it’s just they lacked the cutting edge to accompany their undoubtedly attractive build up play – often making them resemble a Poundland version of Arsenal. Continue reading

On this day… 10th June 1978

10 Jun

The thing about professional footballers, is that they rarely experience the sort of mishaps that befall the likes of us when we trudge out to attempt play the game on a windswept and mud-bound field shrouded in a Sunday morning hangover. How many World Cup finalists will have ever had to halt a game due to stray horses wandering across the field, or because, as happened to me during a game in Hull once, some ten-year-old scally has hopped over the fence and nicked the matchball mid-game? They’ll never experience the indignation of stripping naked in a car-park because someone has forgotten the changing room key, nor the panicked confusion minutes before kick-off when you realise you’ve brought the wrong kit. Well, not quite never. Thirty-two years ago today France and Hungary relived an amateur football dilemma on a global stage. Continue reading