Posts Tagged ‘Nenê’

French football quotes of the year 2012

Samir NasriFrom AVB to Zlatan, Newcastle to Donetsk, Football Further is proud to present its third annual compilation of the year’s best French football quotes.

Cross-Channel relations

“Yesterday, I make one tackle and all everybody speak about is this tackle. Nobody speaks about the 50-yard pass that kills [Florent] Balmont and causes a red card for ‘im.”
– Replete with some elaborate eyebrow-waggling and a healthy dose of Gallic shrugging, Joey Barton‘s attempts to ingratiate himself with the Marseille media become an instant YouTube classic

“Eden Hazard’s English is catastrophic. I asked him: ‘Are you happy with your transfer?’ He said: ‘I don’t understand!'”
Romelu Lukaku on his new Chelsea team-mate

“It was the feeling I had with the coach. He said he trusted me, but he didn’t let me play. He said I was too young. He said: ‘Your time will come.’ It didn’t come. Even though he’s had a 25-year career and despite the fact he’s the boss, my objective was to play … I’m impatient. When I want something, I’ll do anything to get it.”
Paul Pogba crosses Sir Alex Ferguson, and lives to tell the tale

“The only thing I miss is in the changing room. I can’t understand all the jokes and it’s frustrating. French is more difficult than I thought. I’m trying to take my lessons very seriously. I listen to them for at least half an hour each day. The other day I watched a film in French, with English subtitles. It was Ne le dis à personne [‘Tell No One’], which was a great film. I’m going to do it again.”
Joe Cole may have left Lille with a sub-GCSE level of French, but he is now a leading authority on the films of Guillaume Canet

“I could become a doctor!”
Abou Diaby tries to put a positive spin on all the medical vocabulary he has acquired during his time in and out of the Arsenal treatment room

Euro 2012

“I accept that you can ask questions about his sporting performances … But when I hear that he could be dangerous for the concept of the group, I feel like we’re trying to bring a wolf into the sheep pen. He’s been a part of the group since the start. He dropped out due to injury and then loss of form. Don’t make him out to be a wolf, because he isn’t one.”
Laurent Blanc tells the media not to cry wolf after handing Yoann Gourcuff a place in his preliminary squad

“Shut your face! Shut your face!”
Samir Nasri celebrates his goal in the opening game with England by thanking the gentlemen of the French press for their support

“There was a bit of a slanging match in the changing room.”
Olivier Giroud lets the cat out of the bag about the row that erupted after France’s shock 2-0 loss to Sweden

“Go fuck yourself! Go fuck your mother, you son of a bitch! There, now you can write that I’m badly brought up.”
– Such a nice boy, that Samir Nasri – lashing out at a journalist following Les Bleus‘ quarter-final elimination by Spain

“We’ve told them to be vigilant and not to say anything that could hurt the group.”
– French Football Federation press officer Philippe Tournon, prior to the tournament, on the instructions given to France’s players about how to handle the media

Continue reading »

Report: Ait-Fana takes Montpellier to brink of title

“PARIS — A dramatic injury-time goal from Karim Aït-Fana gave Montpellier a 1-0 win over Lille on Sunday that took the Ligue 1 leaders to within a point of their first ever French league title.”

My AFP report on Sunday’s penultimate round of Ligue 1 matches, which saw Auxerre relegated and Montpellier take a giant stride closer to the title, can be read here.

Report: PSG fluff chance to exploit Montpellier setback

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain failed to capitalise on leaders Montpellier’s slip-up against Lorient after conceding an 87th-minute goal to draw 1-1 at Ligue 1’s bottom side Auxerre on Sunday.

My AFP round-up of Sunday’s Ligue 1 action, including setbacks for PSG and Montpellier, a fine goal by on-loan Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, and Joe Cole’s first league goal since December 21, can be found here.

Report: PSG sink Ajaccio to reclaim top spot in Ligue 1

“PARIS — Ligue 1 title favourites Paris Saint-Germain returned to the top of the table after overwhelming third-bottom Ajaccio 4-1 at a rain-soaked Parc des Princes on Sunday.”

My AFP report on PSG’s return to the Ligue 1 summit, including a summary of all the weekend’s major stories in the French top flight, can be read here.

Report: Menez, Nenê get PSG back to winning ways

“PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain brought a measure of solace to their beleaguered coach Antoine Kombouaré with a 3-2 win at home to Auxerre on Sunday that ended a damaging four-game winless streak.”

Read my round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action for AFP here.

Po-faced Pastore misplaces his magic touch

For the pundits on Canal+’s Ligue 1 review programme, Les Spécialistes, it was something of a radical departure. Usually tasked with the scrutiny of borderline offside decisions or the analysis of new tactical experiments, the panellists on Monday night’s show were asked to study Javier Pastore’s smile. Or, more specifically, its sudden disappearance.

Ever since a jaw-dropping piece of control during a warm-up shortly after he arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, Pastore’s pre-match preparations have been the focus of much more attention than the more perfunctory stretching and jogging of his contemporaries. As a result, the production staff at Canal+ were able to compare and contrast footage of the Argentine’s demeanour in the build-up to PSG’s match at Ajaccio three weeks ago with his behaviour in the hour before kick-off at Bordeaux on Sunday.

At Ajaccio, he was all smiles and loose-limbed jollity. At Bordeaux, a concentrated frown did not leave his face – not when he alighted from the team bus, not when he went through his pre-match routine on the pitch at Stade Chaban-Delmas, and not when he lined up with his team-mates in the tunnel prior to the start of the 1-1 draw. “He doesn’t smile once,” observed host Hervé Mathoux.

PSG may be three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and on course for the Europa League knockout phase, but that has not spared them from criticism. Paris, it is widely agreed, are impressive on occasion, but they remain a team of individuals. When Pastore isn’t on his game, Jérémy Ménez steps up. When Kévin Gameiro leaves his shooting boots at home, Antoine Kombouaré’s side turn to Nenê.

Continue reading »

Report: Cole on target as Lille fightback floors Lyon

“PARIS — Joe Cole capped a Lille fightback with the third goal in a 3-1 defeat of Lyon on Sunday that allowed the defending champions to steal a march on their rivals in the nascent Ligue 1 title race.”

To read my AFP round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action, click here.

La semaine en France: Week 33

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
The quota controversy that has dominated the French media agenda this week means that Marseille’s 1-1 draw at home to Auxerre last Sunday did not yield the level of scrutiny you might expect from an unscheduled setback for the reigning league champions.

For once Marseille were decent value for the lead given to them by Mathieu Valbuena, but a 77th-minute equaliser by Auxerre’s South Korean substitute Jung Jo-Gook – his first goal for the club – enabled Lille to hold onto top spot after their breezy 5-0 demolition of Arles-Avignon the day before. If Lille win at third-bottom Nancy on Saturday night, defeat for Marseille at Lyon the following evening would leave OM four points behind Lille with only four games to play.

Lyon’s own title ambitions received a likely fatal blow in an abject 2-0 defeat at Toulouse. Michel Bastos and Aly Cissokho were both sent off, the latter for a petulant lunge on Daniel Braaten after he had inadvertently doubled Toulouse’s advantage by lobbing his own goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris. Cissokho’s 1/10 rating from L’Équipe was the lowest of the season to date.

Lyon’s slip allowed Paris Saint-Germain to draw level with them in third place, as Nenê ended his four-month Ligue 1 goal drought with a vicious 20-yard volley (see below) in a 3-1 defeat of Valenciennes. Rennes failed to win – again – in a 0-0 draw at Bordeaux, who saw Lorient creep above them into sixth place after a late, Kévin Gameiro-inspired rally saw the Brittany side register a 3-2 win at imperilled Lens.

Caen climbed to 16th place with a fine 4-0 win at Nice, with Nancy falling into the relegation zone following a 1-0 loss to Sochaux. It prompted Nancy coach Pablo Correa to announce that he will reverse his decision to leave the club if they go down.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Lens 2-3 Lorient, Lille 5-0 Arles-Avignon, Rennes 0-0 Bordeaux, Sochaux 1-0 Nancy, PSG 3-1 Valenciennes; Sunday: Marseille 1-1 Auxerre, Montpellier 0-0 Brest, Nice 0-4 Caen, Toulouse 2-0 Lyon, Saint-Etienne 1-1 Monaco

Continue reading »

La semaine en France: Week 31

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Another misstep from Lille allowed Marseille to close to within a point of the leaders in Week 31, while Paris Saint-Germain confirmed their return to form by beating Lyon 1-0 and relauching their bid for a Champions League place.

Lille were held to a 1-1 draw by Bordeaux last Saturday – Vujadin Savić cancelling out Moussa Sow’s 21st goal of the season with a near-post header from a corner – but Rudi Garcia refused to sound the alarm and said he had been much more encouraged by his team’s performance than in the 1-0 loss at Monaco the week before.

Marseille capitalised by winning 2-1 at Montpellier, but as so often this season, they elected to do things the hard way. Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock for the hosts but OM replied immediately through a fine André-Pierre Gignac strike (see below) before Taye Taiwo completed the comeback from the spot. Loïc Rémy won the penalty after being held back by Abdelhamid El Kaoutari but both men were then sent off for a needless spot of argy-bargy, meaning they will both be in the stands for Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final.

PSG recorded their second win on the spin with a superb victory over Lyon at Parc des Princes. Antoine Kombouaré’s side completely bossed the first half but had to weather a Lyon flurry early in the second before an untidy goal by Zoumana Camara secured the points. It left Lyon six points off Lille’s pace and just a point above fourth-placed PSG.

Auxerre leapt clear of the relegation zone after a stunning injury-time free-kick by Dariusz Dudka snatched a 1-0 win at Toulouse, with Caen slipping into the bottom three thanks to a 3-2 reverse at Sochaux. Arles-Avignon were finally put out of their misery by Valenciennes and Lens are now six points from safety following a 1-1 draw with Brest.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Lens 1-1 Brest, Nice 3-2 Monaco, Rennes 1-2 Lorient, Saint-Etienne 2-1 Nancy, Sochaux 3-2 Caen, Toulouse 0-1 Auxerre, Lille 1-1 Bordeaux; Sunday: Arles-Avignon 0-1 Valenciennes, Montpellier 1-2 Marseille, PSG 1-0 Lyon

Continue reading »

La semaine en France: Week 27

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Once may have been a fluke, but to score match-winning goals in injury time twice in the space of a week suggests Lille may have the stomach for a bare-knuckle title brawl after all.

Seven days after Pierre-Alain Frau gave them a last-gasp victory at Marseille, Lille found themselves being held 1-1 at home to local rivals Valenciennes as the clock ticked into stoppage time. Cue Eden Hazard. Having located a pocket of space inside the visitors’ box, the Belgian showed a sublime, Velcro touch to cushion Rio Mavuba’s stinging pass before rattling a shot into the bottom-left corner. He claimed that he had “just hit it hard,” but no matter. Lille’s three-point lead remains intact and they now face a kinder run of fixtures than their rivals.

Rennes stayed second but saw their five-game winning run come to an end in a 2-0 defeat at home to Marseille. Lyon, adopting an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation, prevailed by the same scoreline at Sochaux to leave the two Olympiques on 48 points, one shy of Rennes and four adrift of Lille.

With 31 minutes of the weekend’s action remaining, fifth-place Paris Saint-Germain were just a point behind Marseille and Lyon, only for Olivier Giroud’s slick strike – his second of the game – to earn Montpellier a 2-2 draw after they had fallen 2-0 down inside 13 minutes. For Paris, a club permanently on the brink of eruption, defeat in Sunday’s clasico at Marseille could spell the end of their Champions League ambitions.

At the bottom, Monaco displayed remarkable efficiency to claim a 1-0 win at Bordeaux despite mustering just two attempts on goal. They are now out of the relegation zone on goal difference above Auxerre, for whom the autumn’s Champions League sojourns to Milan and Real Madrid must now seem a very long way away.

Ligue 1 results
Friday: Rennes 0-2 Marseille; Saturday: Arles-Avignon 3-3 Lorient, Lens 0-1 Toulouse, Nancy 2-0 Caen, Nice 1-0 Auxerre, Saint-Etienne 2-0 Brest, Sochaux 0-2 Lyon; Sunday: Bordeaux 0-1 Monaco, Lille 2-1 Valenciennes, PSG 2-2 Montpellier

Continue reading »

Latest Tweets