France Champions!

Well the French might not be able to organise the colours of their flag on a fly past, but they can win a world cup final. Croatia started brightly and put considerable pressure on France, but their defence held up and they never looked like losing control; they simply remained patient and took their chances. Sure they had some luck, but it’s hard to argue with 4-2. For all those who think France may not have deserved it, consider that they were also the beaten finalists of the Euro 2016 tournament. Consistency is a big factor in winning trophies, and France seems to have mastered it.

It was nice to see Didier Deschamps join Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer in the small club of men who have won the FIFA World Cup both as a player and a coach. I still remember Deschamps lifting the trophy in 1998, having captained the side throughout the tournament. Good for him.

It wasn’t so nice to wake up this morning to discover the good-natured celebrations which took place in Paris after the game had turned into full-on riots with widespread looting. It made me glad I wasn’t there. Whereas it might be tempting to blame it all on African or North African minorities, I suspect there were others involved too. Like many European cities these days, Paris seems to have a lot of people who seek to destroy it given the slightest opportunity – and that includes those who have allowed the situation to get so bad.

There is much of this sort of sentiment going around Twitter this morning:

People made similar remarks when France won in 1998, although few attribute the footballing success of Italy, Spain, or Portugal to their teams’ relative homogeneity. The point they’re trying to make is immigration is good, but it ought to be noted that these players or their forebears came to France solely because that’s who colonised them a century or two ago. The French team is therefore as much an advert for colonisation as immigration; I’d prefer it if we just called them French and didn’t concern ourselves with their skin colour. As someone has noted:

Indeed. Well done France, I’m happy for you all. It’s just a shame about the rioting.

Share

16 thoughts on “France Champions!

  1. It all kicked off after the semi-final too. Not exactly widely reported in the UK media.

  2. Maybe France needs to introduce a quota system to make its team more representative of the French population.

  3. The Original Mr X

    “Maybe France needs to introduce a quota system to make its team more representative of the French population.”

    Cheeky. Don’t go applying the Left’s rules against them, that’s not fair.

  4. There is a question bubbling away under football about whether the game prefers speed to skill. Of course, having speed *and* skill is the best set up, but on balance the tendency these days is to go for fast players ahead of those who would be able to put their foot on the ball and slow things up as necessary.

    On this score (no pun intended) a lot of Africans would get the nod, such as the French team showed. When I watched an Under 17 tournament a few weeks before the World Cup the young England team had mostly an African background, so they were fast. None of it however impressed me much with individual skills as games tended towards helter-skelter dashes.

    All sports change and evolve, as you would expect, but the current desire to outrun everyone is for some of us not exactly what footy is about.

  5. Watcher

    Quite. When Spain were unbeatable, it wasn’t ‘cos they ran everybody else off the park. It was the combined talent of Xavi and Iniesta bolstered by the immaculate positioning and ball recovery (and occasional dirty play) of Busquets who had (has) a Beckenbauer type ability to be in the right place without breaking into a sprint.

    Talent over the physical.

  6. The French riot fairly regularly. There’s an orgy of car burnings every New Years Day.

    FIFA will be very happy that Croatia didn’t win. Their FA is basically fined every tournament for poor behaviour by supporters. From racist abuse of opponents, through fighting and on to displaying fascist banners.

  7. FIFA will be very happy that Croatia didn’t win. Their FA is basically fined every tournament for poor behaviour by supporters. From racist abuse of opponents, through fighting and on to displaying fascist banners.

    Well, Croatia (or at least the area now known as) was at the pointy end of Islamic attempts to enrich Europe for quite a while and in recent years, according to my extensive looking at wikipedia, the nation has been a transit route for 700,000 of Africa and the Middle East’s best and brightest since 2015, which, bearing in mind the population is about 4m, must have put the wind up them.

  8. @Chester

    That kind of reminds of what happened when the Serbian Red Star Belgrade fans (Akran and co) went a bit over the top with the Dynamo Zagreb fans in their hometown and on their sacred land some say that was the event that started the war.

  9. Not every racist is anti-Islam MC.

    Croat special hatred is for their fellow Christian Serbs.

    Bulgaria, long under Turkish yoke, isn’t particularly anti-Islamic.

    The Turkish dominion of Eastern Europe wasn’t harsher than the Austrian one which replaced it. The enforced Germanisation was often harsher than the non-enforced Turkishness.

  10. Hard to argue maybe but I thought Croatia the better team.

    Yes, but you’re a bit blinkered when it comes to also-rans who play in red and white. 😉

    More seriously, what this final did show only too well is that England had no business being there. The top teams of the world cup were France, Croatia, and Belgium…with England falling well short of those three.

  11. France might have won the prize but I’d still prefer to be going home to Zagreb after seeing the way many have ‘celebrated’ in many French cities.

    It’s depressing to see.

Comments are closed.