French football quotes of the year 2011

L’Entente Cordiale

“They say it’s because I’m a sexy boy. The English are crazy!”
Yohan Cabaye, on the ‘Dreamboat’ nickname bestowed upon him by Newcastle’s fans

“Behind the ‘big guns’ like Chelsea or Manchester [United], there’s also Sunderland or Wolverhampton. French players who are used to getting on the ball end up watching it fly over their heads for 90 minutes.”
– Marseille sporting director José Anigo has some words of advice for any budding Ligue 1 talents dreaming of plying their trade in the Premier League

“If you want us to just stick it in the box like I’ve seen Stoke City do, you’ll have to change the coach. I forbid it.”
– Rennes coach Frédéric Antonetti shares his thoughts on the football doctrine advocated by Tony Pulis

“Without wanting to be unkind, it’s difficult when there are only four of you defending. Sometimes you feel like you’re on your own. When you watch Barça, everyone defends – even Messi!”
Laurent Koscielny feels a bit exposed in the Arsenal back four

“Sometimes I tell jokes and Joe Cole and I look at each other and we’re the only ones laughing.”
Vincent Enyeama on the language barrier in the Lille changing room

“Bon match pour… my team – mon équipe – et… I’m very happy!”
– Ambushed by Canal+’s touchline reporter Laurent Paganelli, Joe Cole has a stab at his first interview in the language of his new homeland after Lille’s 3-1 win over Lyon

Banter

“Once again I’m attacked by Jean-Michel Larqué. I hope with all my heart I don’t end up like him after my career, but there’s no chance of that because I’m not an idiot.”
– Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Jérémie Janot has a pop at 63-year-old television pundit Jean-Michel Larqué, who had criticised him for letting in two late goals at Lens

“Your mum.”
Aly Cissokho’s considered response to a supporter who told him to “go and join Arles-Avignon” during a Lyon training session in April

“Although the score was already 3-0, he’d been taking the piss out of us with the ball for a few minutes, dribbling past his opponent and then waiting so he could dribble past him again. It’s a lack of respect. Even his Lille team-mates said he was going too far.”
– Nancy captain André Luiz takes a dim view of Eden Hazard’s showboating

“Marseille come up to Paris to fuck PSG!”
– Microphone in hand, match-winner Taye Taiwo gets a bit carried away during the Coupe de la Ligue post-match celebrations by leading the OM fans in a chorus of one of their favourite chants

“It was a good response to people who don’t know football. It’ll make them shut their big mouths.”
Modibo Maiga relishes his brace in a 3-0 defeat of Toulouse after stumbling into the viewfinder of the Sochaux boo boys

“At that moment, I told myself that they’d gone mad and didn’t realise. Today I know that I was wrong: they knew exactly what they were doing. They even closed the curtains on the bus to hide themselves from the cameras… With hindsight, I see them above all as a bunch of thoughtless brats.”
Raymond Domenech is still struggling to let go of the 2010 World Cup

Transfer dealings

“Dimitri is in Paris because he went to see the Eiffel Tower.”
– Saint-Etienne co-president Roland Romeyer offers an unconvincing explanation for Dimitri Payet’s transfer deadline day dash to the capital in January

“It’s a high price to pay for a joke. They have no sense of humour.”
Cédric Enjolras, president of village side FC Borne, after a prank bid for Lionel Messi earned him a six-month ban from the French Football Federation

“My dream is to go to Italy or Spain. England and Germany don’t appeal to me very much.”
Michel Bastos positions himself squarely in the shop window, only to find himself stranded at Lyon after a move to Juventus fails to materialise

“At that price, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.”
– Sochaux president Alexandre Lacombe takes his cue from Linda Evangelista after being told that Borussia Dortmund are preparing a €6 million bid for Marvin Martin

The race row

“We have the cup and we’re taking photos of each other. And then I hear Lilian Thuram – and I’m not the only one, Franck Leboeuf [heard it] as well – say: ‘Come on, let’s get a photo with all the blacks.’ And Franck Leboeuf gets up and says to him: ‘Lilian, what are you saying now? Imagine if we’d said, ‘Come on, let’s get a photo with all the whites.’ How would you have reacted?’ Those are discriminatory words and at no point did we misinterpret them and at no point could we have imagined that Lilian Thuram was a fascist or a racist.”
– After the dual-nationality quota row erupts in May, Christophe Dugarry relates an anecdote about the celebrations that followed France’s 1998 World Cup triumph

“There is nothing to suggest that Laurent Blanc in any way gave his support to discriminatory actions.”
– French sports minister Chantal Jouanno announces that Laurent Blanc has been cleared of wrongdoing after a two-pronged investigation by the FFF and the French sports ministry

“You get the impression that we produce the same kind of players: big, strong, powerful ones. And who are the big, strong, powerful ones? The blacks. That’s the way it is… The Spanish, they say: ‘We don’t have a problem. We have no blacks.'”
– Despite avoiding punishment, Blanc’s words – secretly recorded during a meeting with FFF officials – leave an unpleasant taste

Paris Saint-Germain

“At PSG, I’m in a zone and I don’t leave it. It’s what I’m asked to do, so I do it, but it’s true that I don’t feel good. I don’t feel like I can express my qualities as I’d like to. Lots of times I move but nothing happens because my team-mates don’t follow me… In France, they play with their heads down.”
– Record signing Javier Pastore reflects on his struggles to adapt to life in Ligue 1 in an interview with So Foot, only to later claim he had been misquoted

“When he hits the ball with his head, it makes such a sound you think it’s going to explode.”
– An anonymous opponent talks in hushed tones to L’Équipe about Mamadou Sakho’s aerial prowess

André Ayew: “Why don’t you run more?”
Jérémy Ménez: “Running is for the others. I’m here for the attacking play.”
– On-field exchange during Marseille’s 3-0 Clásico win at Stade Vélodrome, reported in L’Équipe but denied by Ménez

“Beckham in Paris will certainly be good for shopping. I love this player but he is not the footballer he was. And if he comes to Paris now it will be to do something other than football.”
Michel Platini smells a rat over David Beckham’s proposed arrival in the City of Lights

Les Bleus

“At the highest level, the 4-4-2 no longer exists.”
Laurent Blanc, shortly before sending France out to face Albania in… a 4-4-2 formation

“Franck is the salt in the soup.”
Franz Beckenbauer lauds Franck Ribéry’s superb start to the 2011-12 season for Bayern Munich

“Martin might be too young and too green, but he’s the only one who offers… that perpetual movement, that availability, that desire to play pass after pass after pass. With Iniesta and Xavi, Barcelona have two of them. Martin could become that vital element for France. He possesses the art of perpetual movement, the art of making things simple. And that’s very complicated.”
Bixente Lizarazu climbs aboard the Marvin Martin bandwagon

“I’d prefer it if the coach said certain things to me face to face.”
Samir Nasri takes exception after Blanc calls for him to “do more” in the colours of his country

“Mourinho is very different to the coaches I’ve known before. Does he have to pull me by the ears? Yes, often. But it does me good.”
Karim Benzema explains how José Mourinho helped him turn around his Real Madrid career

“I don’t tell myself that I’m never going to play, even though it would require an extraordinary set of circumstances for that to happen. But Hugo Lloris could eat something bad and Steve Mandanda could twist his finger innocuously. I’ve been called up since 2009 and I’ve only got one cap.”
Cédric Carrasso, France’s third-choice goalkeeper, lives in hope

And finally…

“Montpellier champions of France? If I was Marseille, Paris, Lyon, Lille or Rennes, I’d stab myself in the arse with a sausage! What an embarrassment it would be for them.”
– Montpellier president Louis Nicollin delves into his bottomless bag of weird and wonderful metaphors to express how he’d feel if his side were to win the league

“No, it’s because he needs to move his arse.”
– Caen coach Franck Dumas, when asked if 16-year-old striker M’Baye Niang’s early-season struggles were down to his age

“In 10 minutes, I figure a guy out. I act according to my instincts; sometimes badly, perhaps. But I know if he’s an idiot or a good guy. Idiots are like good guys, they’re everywhere. I’ve never been mistaken. I bought the book, Travailler avec des cons [Working with Idiots]. It helped me.”
– Ligue 1’s answer to Chuck Norris, Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot, on his approach to man management

“We’re stuck with that tag, a bit like how the Jews unfortunately had to wear a cross [sic] on their sleeves.”
- Toulouse coach Alain Casanova gets slightly carried away while complaining about his side’s reputation for defensive football (he later apologised)

“At the end of my career, it’s 100 percent certain that I’ll go back home [to Rafael Obligado, in Buenos Aires province], because I know that there’s nothing better than the life there. I’ll go fishing, I won’t have the traffic and all the noises of the city, I’ll just be in nature, peaceful. If I hadn’t been a professional player, I would definitely have worked in the fields, in the countryside.”
Lisandro López has got it all figured out

Related link: French football quotes of the year 2010

This piece was cross-posted on The Guardian Sport Blog as part of the Guardian Sport Network and can also be read here.

6 Responses to “French football quotes of the year 2011”

Leave a Reply

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archives
Wikio - Top Blogs - Football