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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Didier Deschamps has termed Germany as the best team in the world.

For this reason, he claims that France have to be at their very best in order to overcome the reigning world champions in the Euro 2016 semifinals.


After a comfortable win over Iceland, France have set up a mouthwatering semi-final with Germany. The winner of the tie could go on and face either Wales or Portugal in the final of the competition. Against Iceland, there was little doubt of a victory after France managed to set up a 4-0 advantage going into halftime.

Even though Iceland threatened to spark a comeback with an early second-half goal fromSigþórsson, it was nothing more than a consolation along with the late goal fromBjarnason. It was a commendable effort and a fairytale from Iceland to at least reach the quarter-finals of the Euro 2016. However, the focus now shifts on the real top teams with France and Germany taking on each other. France are heavily backed as the home team while Germany have the World Cup medal still bleeding confidence into their hearts. Germany, however, have been far from convincing in the tournament and this has been a criticism of manager Joachim Loew.

Deschamps has tried to receive the underdogs tag by claiming that Germany are the best team in the world.”I am delighted for the players as they deserve this, and for these fans who have been behind us for months.To be able to offer them something to make them smile and feel happy and have another week in it. I’m delighted about that.We are into the last week and I’m very happy about that. Germany are the best team. There is no doubt about that even if they had a few frights against Italy, who stopped them playing,” said Deschamps.

Didier Deschamps announce his team for the Euros

French coach Didier Deschamps has announced his squad for the Euros 2016 that will be taking place in France itself.

Among the notable absentees, we have Karim Benzema, who is suspended from the team after a blackmail scandal and Ben Arfa.

In fact, the biggest surprise is the absence of Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been quite prolific with Nice this season. Indeed, ever since he moved from Newcastle back to France, Ben Arfa has been scoring goals one after the another, and many would have thought that he would be in the team for the Euros. He is only named in the reserve side, and there will need to be an injury in the current squad for him to get a place at the Euros.

Didier Deschamps has argued that he has chosen not only the best players but also players that can play together. He said that he had chosen Olivier Giroud because he had scored 25 goals in all competition this season and the same thing goes for Griezmann. He believes that the forward players he has selected can play together and can help France go far in the tournament. Among the other forward players that have been selected by Didier Deschamps, we have Anthony Martial, Dimitri Payet, Kingsley Coman and Andre-Pierre Gignac. more

FRANCE ARE TOP FAVOURITES TO WIN EURO 2016

Les Blues are currently one of the most in form team in Europe with just few months to the European championships billed for June this year. Les blues are currently top favorites to win the trophy on home soil.

Christian Karembeu, France legend and World Cup winner, is also among those that believe the current French national team can end the 16-year wait for a major trophy by backing the composition of the national team under the guidance of veteran boss Didier Deschamps.


Karembeu said: “Didier Deschamps is building a new team with new ideas and we did well in the last world cup (2014) so I think we can see a strong national team in Euros.”

He then added: “we know we have potential and talent but, at home we also have our fans and they will push the team to perform and maybe even win it.”

Talking about talent and potential the French national team has a fine blend of both youth and experience with the likes of Antoine Griezman, Kinsley Coeman, Raphael Varane and Dimitri Payet in top form for their various clubs ahead of the championships. Veteran players like Patrice Evra and captain Hugo Illoris can provide the needed on field guidance and direction that is needed in huge competitions like the Euro. more

FRANCE’S 2016 EURO CAMPAIGN LOOKING GOOD DESPITE BENZEMA’S SCANDAL

Les Blues go into the Euro this year as host of the continental championship. The star-studded team has A-list players plying tackles in the best teams of the world. The players are all vibrant and talented in their various positions.

Hugo Lloris is the first choice goal keeper and squad captain. The gifted goal keeper is also the first team choice for in-form Tottenham Hotspur FC. He has contributed significantly to their campaign this season with Spurs in second place in the English Premiership League. In defense is Bacary Sagna plying trade for Manchester City FC. Young talent, Raphael Varane playing for Real Madrid FC has won many laurels with the club including the UEFA Champions’ League. Varane is also in defense alongside Mamadou Sakho and former captain, Patrice Evra.

Midfiled has talents such as Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi and Matthieu Valbuena. Strike force includes current sensation in Athletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann and real Madrid striker, Kareem Benzema.

These are the projected starting team for Les Blues. Coach Didier Deschamps also has options in West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet. The injury scare the team has is Nabil Fekir playing at Lyon. The attacker is close to returning to action but the talent may not make the final squad. The young player played last in September last year when France defeated Portugal by a lone goal. more

Jardim Content with Second

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is happy to see his team second in the table and leading the chasing pack of the French team who have just witnessed PSG when yet another league title.

Paris St Germain have been crowned as the French champions for a fourth consecutive season. However, this has been the most one-sided campaign amongst them. They have been able to claim the title with eight games to spare. The real competition for PSG will come in the form of the Champions League. They have just qualified for the quarter-finals of the successfully overcoming Chelsea in the last 16. more