France - A Revolution in Football
For a league that is entirely dominated by one team/Qatari plaything, there is strong representation of players from Ligue 1, including rumoured Liverpool target Nabil Fekir and the non-Liverpool target Thomas Lemar.
The real star of the France team, Kylian Mbappe, also makes his money in the domestic league with Paris Saint-Germain. However, there a rumours that Mbappe will be looking to move away from France in the near future; he is reportedly bored with the lack of competitiveness in the league, but given that PSG only managed to win the Ligue 1 title, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, and Trophée des Champions this season – I can’t really see where he’s coming from.
France has a decent amount of home-grown talent. Whether they’ll still be there after the tournament remains to be seen…
Design & Branding
France seems to have forgot the colours of their own flag with this tournament’s kit. It’s blue for sure, but it’s not the right blue. It’s like Les Bleus rang up the kit designer and said, “Oh yeah, we want it classic French: blue, white, and red” and when the designer asked what shade of blue they wanted, they just said “whatever you want mate, it’s up to you.” L’habit ne fait pas le moine.
Fortunately, the sleeves are a bit bluer. Unfortunately, the designer has decided to show off the blue in one looks like a textile representation of the polygraph test. This may or may not be an allusion to un petit scandal the French national team faced in 2015, when striker Karim Benzema stood trial on charges of blackmailing team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over an alleged sex-tape. Both players are conspicuously absent from this year’s squad…
Finally, let’s talk coq. The symbol of the French national team, the chicken, bravely stands over the heart of every proud Frenchman. The star above the coq’s head symbolises France’s lone World Cup win, which occurred in 1998 on home soil, which is basically cheating. Printed below the coq are the letters “F F F”, which could stand for “Fédération Française de Football” or, as I prefer, “FRANCE FRANCE FRANCE.”
It’s difficult to produce a good kit when all the colours are wrong. Schoolgarcon error.
Sweepstake Pick: Matt Elloy
When asked for a quote on his pick, Matt simply stared vacantly into the distance as though haunted by his random choice of team this year.
Selfishly, France have decided that their official Twitter account should be in French so I’ve done my best to try and muddle through what they’re saying.
“One pays. One purple. One equips. Toes assemble nose surrounds #FiercedebtBlues”
“Butlers and anniversaries hire in Europa League, I miss the peas lures 20 ants.”
The photos posted on account are no less baffling to me.
Here’s midfielder Paul Pogba signing what appears to be a pillowcase.
Whilst several members of the team have forgotten what sport they play.
The French players themselves have been unusually quiet in the build-up to the tournament, perhaps on the orders of no-nonsense manager, Didier Deschamps. Luckily, former player Franck Ribery did not receive this memo and has been spouting off to the press about Deschamps’ decision to omit the aforementioned sex-tape blackmailer, Karim Benzema – as well as picking on PSG player Adrien Rabiot for refusing a place on the squad’s standby list.
A dull social brand is only saved by sniping by retired players.
Although not known for their enthusiastic support of anything whatsoever, the French do make an effort to get behind their football team.
French fans also made the fantastic gesture of singing along with ‘God Save the Queen’ before an exhibition match with England after the events of the 2017 Manchester bombing. That’s a very nice thing to do a country that has basically been invading you since the 13th century.
Face paint, fair-play and fraternite – a good combination.
Middle of the pack. Don’t bother watching.