ZINEDINE ZIDANE, LAURENT BLANC AND ARSENE WENGER. A DREAM CAST. IN GENEVA, LIKE A MOVIE, SPORT & STYLE AND THE WATCHMAKER IWC BROUGHT TOGETHER THREE LEGENDS OF FRENCH FOOTBALL. THE IDEA? STOP TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE GAME, FRIENDSHIP, BLUES, LIFE.
That morning, in the quiet lounges for the Geneva hotel The Richmond, the machine back in time in full operation. On the sidelines of the International Exhibition of Fine Watchmaking, where the trio makes a pilgrimage each year under the auspices of the IWC house, these three superstars have accepted the invitation of Sport & Style. Attracted like a magnet by the flavors of this game madeleine, Laurent Blanc likes to mimic the Brazilian breeders. In two stages and three movements, it redials - smile - game strategy auriverde: a goalkeeper, a defender and nine players in attack. Arsene Wenger laughs. And sets out to reconstruct illico the tactical scheme of the France team of punching balls. Arsenal manager then makes the choice of security: a goalkeeper, nine defensemen and one striker. General laughter.
“The guys up front alone, it’s Karim Benzema” , slides Laurent Blanc. “We’ll need him to score goals. At the same time, alone in front, it will not be cotton. This is what might be called the great loneliness of the modern striker. ” A little aside, as always, Zinedine Zidane said nothing, as if inwardly reliving the final of 1998. He observes and Arsene Laurent a watchful eye, almost remote. His hand rests gently on the table, as if to ascertain its reality, touch wood, this false stroke lawn returns to his childhood when he only played on grass stabilized earth neighborhoods north of Marseille. He then takes a small player in his hand and grabs the ball, no bigger than a ball. Kick for Les Blues. Zizou is still silent. Everyone stopped talking. His eyes are fixed on the ball and the opposing goal. In front, the guard is still, as unperturbed as a tin soldier. In a flick, Zizou propels the little ball into the net with such force that the cage is dropped. Laurent Blanc and Arsene Wenger in a knowing look. A zero for the France team. Zizou laughs. Laughter, yet.
“Finally it’s Camp Mou”: The global media reflects on Real Madrid’s victory against Barcelona.
Sport: Farewell to the league. FC Barcelona said goodbye to the League after losing to Real Madrid in a disappointing game.
Mundo Deportivo: Barca says goodbye to the league. The Madrid win in Camp Nou and already has seven points of advantage in the absence of four days.
Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy): Finally it’s Camp Mou.
L’Equipe (France): The true measure of the champion.
Corrire della Sera (Italy): Mourinho, with the league in his hands. The Real blow to Barcelona.
Olé (Argentina): Must be acknowledged. This time, the duel between Messi and Ronaldo was for the Portuguese, who gave the victory in Camp Nou to Real Madrid and above all leads the scorers’ table with 42 goals.
A Bola (Portugal): Ronaldo decided the superclasico.
Record (Portugal): The calm of Ronaldo. CR7 makes the difference at the Camp Nou. Khedira opened the scoring, Alexis tied and Ronaldo settled the match.
The Sun (Great Britain): Joy for Mou at the Nou.
El Nuevo Herald (United States): Real Madrid wins 2-1 to Barcelona and moves away to the top.
Lance (Brasil): CR7 decides against Barca and Real close to the title.
An entire country, in which “World Cup” was still synonymous with “controversy”, is rediscovering football through the Women’s World Cup. Reaching the semi finals of the tournament for the first time in their history, Les Bleues have enchanted France after beating England on penalties. Unlike in the US, women’s football has always received very little attention in France with the men’s team monopolizing most of the media coverage. A year after the Knysna training strike incident in South Africa however, the ladies are now very much in the spotlight and have delighted a record number of viewers thanks to their desire to win and easygoing attitude off the pitch. Qualified for the London Olympic Games after Germany’s defeat at the hands of Japan, this World Cup has already been an all-round success. However France now face a tough challenge against the number 1 team in the world and will need to be at their best to even trouble the Americans.
Intense transfer speculation is revolving around the Bundesliga with names such as Gotze, Tasci, Reus and Vidal dominating scout reports. After a strong 2010 World Cup campaign revitalised with the presence of several young talents, it’s no surprise that the attention has transferred to Europe’s most populated country. After the tournament Ozil and Khedira completed bumper deals to Real Madrid, it’s not often to see big names leave the country,but who could say no to Mourinho?Or to the money.The same can be said about Portugal which constantly sees its top players join Europe’s elite’s for millions; a huge interest has been placed on FC Porto’s Falcao and Hulk. In addition, Fabio Coentrao completed a €30m “dream move” to Real Madrid this week.
However, this season it’s all about the French and I’m not referring to their fine Bordeaux wines or passionate classical romantic literature, but to the sheer talent of footballers scattered across the country. France is a football nation which lacks poaching and expensive transfers, but this summer could be different a one. Vendre, vendre, vendre!
France have bounced back from their worst run of form in 73 years with a win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second Euro qualifier which took place Tuesday night in Sarajevo. Les Bleus were in a dire state after losing to Belarus at the Stade de France and desperately needed some glimpse…
Amazing what a little self-confidence can do for you, Karim.