International Friendlies Today – France v Brazil, Argentina v Portugal, Denmark v England

February 9, 2011 — by Suman

A More Meaningful France-Brazil Match Than Today's (12 Juin 1998, Paris)

There is a full slate of meaningless international friendlies today, with the European and South American powers in action in some attractive matchups (Guardian blogger Paolo Bandini, in a bit of hyperbole: “Is this the best night of friendlies ever?“).   Moreover, most of those matches available for viewing here in the US (at least on ESPN3).

We may peek in on France-Brazil, Argentina-Portugal, or even Denmark-England.   Especially since the storyline for that latter one, at least from the English point of view, seems to be young Jack Wilshere’s first start.  Fabio Capello did nothing to manage expectations of a nation looking for yet another savior by mentioning “Baresi, Maldini, Raúl” when asked about Wilshere.

Such expectations which have been building his performances in the early stages of the Premier and Champions Leagues last fall. For example, here is another Guardian columnist back in October, writing that he’s “nervous about Jack Wilshere, teenage midfield scamp and current bearer of the title of most promising young footballer in England. Watching Wilshere set up Arsenal’s first goal against Partizan Belgrade [in September] with a brilliant backheel, two thoughts sprang to mind. First: Wilshere is really good. And second: how are we going to ruin him?”

(We’ve indulged this tangent about Wilshere since its further fuel for our ongoing internal debate about his role in the Arsenal lineup; see here.)

Here’s a list of some of the matches of interest:

2:15pm Denmark vs England
2:30pm Netherlands vs Austria
2:45pm France vs Brazil USAESPND
2:45pm Germany vs Italy
3:00pm Argentina vs Portugal FIFA.comGolTV,
3:30pm Spain vs Colombia

A France-Brazil matchup is a good reason to look back at the famous Final Coupe du Monde 1998, which took place on the 12 Juin 1998 in the Stade de France (Paris):

Update: For reference, here are the squad lists for a few of the matches, which are now in progress.


France: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Mexes, Abidal – A Diarra, M’vila – Menez, Gourcuff, Malouda – Benzema.
Subs: Mandanda, Carrasso, Réveillère, Koscielny, Sakho, Clichy, Cabaye, Matuidi, Diaby, Gameiro, Hoarau, Rémy
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Andre Santos; Elias, Lucas, Hernanes; Renato Augusto, Pato, Robinho
Subs: Gomes, Neto, Breno, Luisao, Marcelo, Rafael, Anderson, Sandro, Jadson, André, Hulk


Denmark: Sorensen, Christian Poulsen, Jorgensen, Agger, Simon Poulsen, Jacobsen, Kvist, Eriksen, Krohn-Delhi, Rommedahl, Bendtner.
Subs: Lindegaard, Wass, Kjaer, Silberbauer, Schone, Vingaard, Junker, Lorentzen, Enevoldsen, Pedersen.
England:Hart, Johnson, Dawson, Terry, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Wilshere, Walcott, Rooney, Milner, Bent.
Subs: Green, Walker, Cahill, Lescott, Baines, Downing, Parker, Barry, Young, Defoe,
Carlton Cole, Stockdale.


France suspends their entire squad

July 23, 2010 — by Sean

"Let's lose the next and crash out of 2010, yes?"

The French have a friendly against Norway in a couple of weeks, but exactly who’ll be playing is a complete mystery. From the Guardian, among others:

The 23 members of France’s World Cup squad have been suspended for the country’s next game. The decision was taken during a meeting of the French Football Federation Federal Council on the recommendation of the national side’s new coach Laurent Blanc.

This on top of the Ribery/Benezema underage prostitution scandal has been great for continuing France’s World Cup ridiculousness. Party on, Bleus.

Group SummariesVideo

Group A Summary – Mexico/South Africa/Uruguay/France

June 24, 2010 — by Suman

Uruguay wins the group with 2 wins and 1 draw; Mexico finishes 2nd with 1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss.

Group A Fixtures & Results:

  • Fri June 11 (Day 1): Mexico 1 South Africa 1
  • Fri June 11 (Day 1): France 0, Uruguay 0
  • Fri June 16 (Day 6): Uruguay 3, South Africa 0
  • Fri June 17 (Day 7): Mexico 2, France 0
  • Tues June 22 (Day 12): South Africa 2, France 1
  • Tues June 22 (Day 12): Uruguay 1, Mexico 0


Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
UruguayUruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 7
MexicoMexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 4
South AfricaSouth Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 4
FranceFrance 3 0 1 2 1 4 1

Video highlights and match summaries below.


Sad but not unexpected developments from France

June 24, 2010 — by Simon4

Today, I decided to check out the French newspaper Le Monde to see what was new in the disaster which was the French excursion to South Africa.  At the same time I opened my online edition of the NYT to see general reactions to the World Cup.  Low and behold I see in both quite a bit.  But what was disturbing was the shift in rhetoric from one of technical and tactical abilities, having a lame duck coach, etc. to one of Race, Nationality, French Identity, and Patriotism.

The gist of the argument is that problem with the team had nothing to do with the age of players, the lame duck coach, but instead the fact that the team looked like the melting pot of French society, with players from many corners of the former French Empire—Senegal (Evra), Guyana (Malouda), Cong (Mandanda) to a name a few.  How could the foreigners, these not true French, be proud to wear Les Bleus.  They won’t sing Les Marseillaise! In fact the right-wing philosopher Finkielkraut, as well as right wing politicians, referred to the team as “a gang of thugs” and “black-black-black”, and equated them with the young men of Afro-French and Franco-Middle East descent that engaged in protest and riots that spread throughout France 5 years ago.  Never mind that stars of Les Bleus past and present included the likes of Zidane (Alegeria), Thuram (Guadalupe), Viera (Senegal) and other “immigrants”.


Italy v France

June 24, 2010 — by Tommy2

Devastating result for the Azzurri, but Italy will be over it a few days after the Cup has finished. Contrast that with the French and the existential crisis its collapse has brought on. They’ll be gnawing on this for years, agonizing over what it means for French culture, society, and world stature — while the Italians are off chasing women/men, eating pasta, and sacking their governments. Maybe it’s something in the soil — Italians make happy wine; the French make anxious wine.


“I take no joy in the collapse of the French”

June 22, 2010 — by Suman

Lifted from today’s France v South Africa / Mexico v Uruguay open thread of comments:

Strangely, I take no joy in the collapse of the French (how many times in history has that phrase been used?). I suppose it’s more fun to watch a team you dislike lose at full strength, but this is just sad. Like some strung out 80s movie star — it’s hard to watch, and you wish they’d go away quietly.


MVHs: France / S. Africa & Uruguay / Mexico

June 22, 2010 — by Christine

Early MVH predictions: Luis Suarez (Uruguay) the 23-year-old striker who scored goal #1 in this very riveting Uruguay / Mexico match up. He made it look so easy, didn’t he? And that million dollar smile (okay and overbite)! Magnifico!

And on the S. Africa / France side: gotta go with my man Katlego Mphela. He’s a striker for the Mamelodi Sundowns when he’s not playing for his home country South Africa, and he was responsible for that all-too-easy second goal against France at the end of the first half. Go Bafana Bafana!