FRANCE NAME SQUAD FOR FRIENDLIES AND WC QUALIFIER

The French national team has named the squad that would prosecute friendly games against Paraguay and England and their important clash against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier.


Coach Didier Deschamps named Alphonse Areole of PSG, Benot Costil of Rennes and Spurs top choice Hugo Lloris in goal. Lloris is the favourite to start after an impressive run for his club in the Premier League.

AS Monaco defender Benjamin Mendy make the defenders’ list alongside Kurt Zouma of Chelsea, Christophe Jallet of Lyon, and Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona. Recovering centre defender for Real Madrid Raphael Varane was included in defence, as with Presnel Kimpembe of PSG and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal. Lucas Digne of Barcelona and Djibril Sidibe of Monaco were also named.

In the middle, PFA Player of the Year and France Player of the Year N’Golo Kante was named. World transfer record holder Paul Pogba would line up alongside Corentin Tolisso of Lyon, Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham, and PSG duo of Adrien Rabiot and Blaise Matuidi. more

LYON VS BESIKTAS GAME GO VIOLENT

On Thursday the Europa League match between Lyon and Besiktas witnessed crown disorder.


The fans spilled onto the pitch, delaying the start of the first leg clash between the French and Turkish side. The fans broke through the stewards on ground unto the pitch because fireworks had been set off and missiles sent from the stands of the visitors.

The fans ran for their safety, forcing the security to work at regaining order. All hands had to be on deck. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulaswas pictured on the pitch trying to persuade fans to return to their seats.

France had labelled the match “high risk” as they pre-empted that the Turkish fans would want to make a political statement ahead of the forthcoming referendum in their country. The game between Monaco and Borussia Dortmund also witnessed delays as the bus of the Germans was attacked. The game had to be pushed back 24 hours. Monaco eventually won the match. more

BALOTELLI ACCUSED BASTIA FANS OF RACISM

Former Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has accused the fans of Bastia of racism.


The Italy international, who moved to play in France with Nice on a loan deal, posted messages of his experience against racism on his Instagram handle.

“Yesterday the result against Bastia was right…we will work more and try to get our objective..the referee was good too but I have a question for French people…Is it normal that Bastia supporters make monkey noise and ‘uh uh’ for the whole game and no one of the ‘commissions discipline’ say nothing?,” Balotelli posted.

“So racism is LEGAL in France? Or only in Bastia? Football is an amazing sport..those people like Bastia supporters make it horrible,” he added. more

Deschamps Impressed by Zinedine Zidane’s Work at Real Madrid

France national team boss Didier Deschamps claims that he is not surprised by the success Zinedine Zidane has achieved since taking over at Real Madrid just over a year ago.


However, he is certainly surprised by the way the former French star has managed the club in this period. Regarded as one of the most political clubs, managing Madrid has to be a challenge even for the best in the business. Yet, Zidane has managed to win more trophies than the number of defeats that he has suffered at the club. Zidane has already won the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup.

After achieving incredible success as a player,it was clear that Zidane was being groomed to become a future Real Madrid manager. However, the time came in abrupt circumstances when Rafa Benitez was sacked midway through last season. Rather than look outside for a coach, Madrid adopted the philosophy of Barcelona and brought in Zidane is the replacement. It has been a great move by Florentino Perez, as it has yielded the club their 11 European cup amongst other trophies. more

Didier Deschamps Calls for Patience with Debutants

France national team boss Didier Deschamps has claimed that it would be wrong to judge the young debutant making their way into the national team fold.


Goalkeeper Benoit Costil was one of the debutant and he kept a clean sheet, but Thomas Lemar and Sebastien Corchia came on as late substitute and had little impact on the game. It was clear that manager Deschamps’ decision to go for an entirely new lineup was one of the reasons for the team being unable to get a win in the game against Ivory Coast, which finished as a 0-0 draw.

Most noticeably, it was not a great performance from the team going forward, but they were reasonably good at defending. Despite dominating possession, the team could only muster three shots on target compared to two of Ivory Coast. France could afford to try out some new players after having achieved decent set of results in the World Cup 2018 qualification.

Despite starting out with the goalless draw against Belarus, the team has managed three consecutive wins to go top of the table. Since it is an extremely tough group with the likes of Netherlands also involved, France have to be at their best at all times.

The national team’s next match is against minnows Luxembourg in March. “We had a tough game and it was a laborious second half.When there are many changes, it does not help. We won the game that we had to win on Friday and there I was able to give playing time to young players.It seemed appropriate for the team. Do not judge too quickly the players tonight. The requirements at this level are very high, but I do not often get the chance to do that.We have done very good things this year with the highlight being Euro 2016,” said the French manager.

WAS IBRA WRONG?

Philippe Lamboley does not appreciate the Red Devils management for handing over the shirt number of Anthony Martial to the newcomer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

According to Lamboley that it was the number Martial had put on the previous season and it had proved to be great for him. So, he would have wanted to go with it again. The sources say that the club did not even ask Martial if he was okay with Zlatan taking his shirt number or not. more

FRANCE TOP GROUP A WC QUALIFIERS’

An incredible long-range strike from Paul Pogba led France to a 1-0 win over Netherlands in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam.


Pogba’s accurate shot, which appeared too hot for goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to handle, was the telling blow in a clash between the two tough countries in Group A, leaving the hosts with the first World Cup qualifying loss since 2001.

France have now recorded three straight wins over the Dutch for the first time in their history.

“Paul is capable of and must perform better” Deschamps said after Pogba’s last international outing which he absolutely delivered for the team with his accurately launched rocket-kick. Laurent Koscielny took a square ball from Dimitri Payet while Pogba received the ball from him and aimed for the target under a little pressure.

The kick had a lot of power, Stekelenburg couldn’t handle the ball as it slipped beyond him while he dived to his right. The Everton goalkeeper had been stronger when keeping out Kevin Gameiro’s stinging drive in the early exchanges, as France consistently caused Netherlands problems on the counter.

Netherlands without the sidelined Wesley Sneijder, had their attacking options reduced especially when the injured Quincy Promes had to be substituted after just 15 minutes of playing. more

FRANCE DOMINATE BUT BELARUS REMAINED RESOLUTE

Euro 2016 finalist France dominated the game when they played Belarus in the 2018 World Cup qualifier, but they couldn’t break the deadlock throughout the encounter.

fiddle at Arsenal. The Gunner missed chances that could have been converted for Les Blues.

Golden Boot winner at the Euro 2016, Antoine Griezmann didn’t rise up to the occasion. Football most expensive player Paul Pogba couldn’t make a difference as France failed to break a resolute Belarus in the game played in Borisov Arena. The Didier Deschamps-led team dominated the entire affair, but didn’t get the goal.

Giroud was closest but his header hit the goal post in the second half. Fans who are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of the continental title would have to wait longer. In the same group, Sweden settled to a draw when they faced Netherlands. Marcus Berg got the opener, but Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder equalised for Holland. Bulgaria and Luxembourg played a stunner with the game ending 4-3. more

Time not Right for Benzema’s France Return, Says Deschamps

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema’s absence from the French national team continues to go on after manager Didier Deschamps once again omitted him from the squad for the World Cup 2018 qualification.


France managed to come within a whisker of lifting the Euro 2016 and this was largely achieved despite the team being without star players like Benzema. Manager Deschamps made it clear that he would be taking discipline as a priority over quality and this seems to have paid off for the national team after a long wait. They may have missed out on the title, butDeschamps has cleared the path for a bright future.

Just when it seemed that France would build on from the success, there have been calls for striker Benzema to be brought back to the national team.Deschamps was slightly doubtful that Benzema may not be available for the game against Belarus and the fears have been proved right. Apart from struggling with a back injury, it seems that the French national team is still not convinced that the 28-year-old has changed his ways sufficiently in order to become a regular with the national team. Since making his debut in 2007, Benzema has featured in 81 matches for the national team.

“He’s been available for selection for a while. He was available for selection for the Euros so his status hasn’t changed.I didn’t select him for the Euros. He was available for selection, like he is still available for selection today. But it’s up to me to select him or not. I’m going to be honest with you — even if he had been available today, I wouldn’t have picked him for this squad because I don’t think it’s the time for him to return to the French team,” said the national team manager.

BALOTELLI BACKS FRANCE TO LIFT EURO 2016

Former AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli has backed France to lift the Euro 2016 trophy.

France are the favourites to lift the trophy after seeing off former top favourites Germany on Thursday in an epic semi final match.

Balotelli backed his friend Paul Pogba to do wonders in the game against Portugal when they meet on Sunday at the final. The player who acknowledged Germany to be favourites backed the team to repeat their success when they play in the final.

France faced Germany in the semi final in Marseille for the chance to play Portugal, who had defeated Wales on Wednesday in the other semi final game, in the final game of the tournament. The game ended 2-0 in favour of France as two goals from Man of the Match Antoine Greizmann sunk the German machines.

The player, who was released from his loan to AC Milan from Liverpool, had faced Germany before when they played at the semi final four years ago at the Euro 2012. The striker scored two goals as Italy went past the Germans. Balotelli told Goal before the semi final match: “Objectively, yes [Germany are favourites], but subjectively I hope France win because I want my friend Pogba to win. Germany in 2012 were a little bit stronger than this current Germany side but Germany are always a strong team.”
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