Sunday, July 09, 2006

France date with futbol destiny

This Sunday France has his biggest match ever. The 1998 was nice but it was at home and that always somehow slightly taints a victory, no matter how deserved it might be. Brazilians for example never believed the French victory was truly fair. France was a new comer to finals; they gave escargot to Ronaldo.

Tomorrow, with an aging team, France will have to prove that it is really a great football power, and will do so by entering this rarest of elite clubs, countries who won at least twice the World Cup (the same curse, by the way, suffered by England who only won once and at home).

But there is more to prove. Today's game showed that the younger German team has a lot of potential that if confirmed in the Eurocup of 2008 will make Germany an odds on favorite. Other younger team have shown their promise and will be at the perfect age in 4 years (Spain, England, even Portugal or Argentina). But France has few young values. It has some, like Ribery, but it has few of those. I know that France cannot offer us proof of renewal tomorrow but depending on how the youngest play or are allowed to play will say a lot as to the future of France who in the past got shut out of several World Cups in a row.

Another thing to prove is whether they can play without Zidane as Vieira is not that young either. Unfortunately that proof will have to wait for the Eurocup qualifications. Tomorrow is Zidane apotheosic end, even if France loses its game. All the team will do that last rally around its captain.

It is certain that a victory against Italy will go a long way to soothe the fears of France fans like yours truly. But I am not going to think about that now: I am in the enjoy mode. Today, while I visit for the week end, I got my large French flag, strangely available in Caracas streets (and even in San Felipe, but in the small version). If France wins, we shall get in the car with the flag and start honking around in the avenues. I have heard that Plaza Altamira, this den of opposition, officially known as Plaza Francia, will host a rally for the French supporters.

I am also amazed at how many Venezuelans support France over Italy, which makes France look like the underdog (or the vanquisher of Brazil so it cannot lose?) I have also got my special car flag to parade it around. Many cars sport the Italian flag but few the French. Then again French flag reached the buhonero stands only this week....

PS: the flags, after a hard bargain with a guy whose hair was bleach blonde, costed me 20 Bucks. Probably way too much still. But heck, the semi stoned guy to whom I bought them from, who offered me an 8 star Venezuelan flag to take along (which I declined holding to my 7 star one), in the middle of a Caracas highway, traffic running all around, with other buhoneros holding Italian flags for sale with a mean look, are impressions that are worth every penny.


Anonymous Stef said...

I know only Italians support THEIR team. Everyone else has to borrow a team doesn't belong to them and they don't belong to. How sad! If those who support Brasil, now France, would start doing the same for OUR vinotinto ... well, a stadium as large as the one in Berlin should be built up to make room for so many people. How sad!

10:07 AM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

France rocks. Everyone in Los Angeles (except unthinking Italians) are supporting France. We have a gigantic French community in this city and we are celebrating France. I just put my bleu on (I found the perfect couleur top in my closet) and I am off to French Consulate's big event to watch the French win.

ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:13 PM  
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