Friday , 22 September 2017
Home / Sports / France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

Thursday, 9 June 2016

France's preparations for Euro 2016 have been distracted by claims from Karim Benzema (L) that his exclusion from the squad was because coach Didier Deschamps (R) had "bowed to pressure from a racist part of France"
France’s preparations for Euro 2016 have been distracted by claims from Karim Benzema (L) that his exclusion from the squad was because coach Didier Deschamps (R) had “bowed to pressure from a racist part of France”

A tortuous build-up dominated by off-field controversy and untimely injuries comes to an end for hosts France when they finally get Euro 2016 underway against Romania in Group A at the Stade de France on Friday.

Les Bleus’ preparations on the field have been distracted by claims from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema that his exclusion from the squad was racially motivated.

Benzema hasn’t played for Les Bleus since October last year after becoming embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal that targeted then international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

France’s highest active goalscorer, Benzema — who is of Algerian descent — claimed coach Didier Deschamps had “bowed to pressure from a racist part of France.”

In addition, Benzema’s Madrid team-mate Raphael Varane will miss the tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Coach Didier Deschamps’ defensive options are severely depleted as Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu also had to withdraw from the squad, while Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho wasn’t included as he was serving a provisional ban from UEFA for doping.

Lassana Diarra, Kurt Zouma and Mathieu Debuchy are also sidelined, and Deschamps has acknowledged he never imagined being hit with such headaches even just a few weeks ago.

“Everything that has happened to us since the squad was announced on May 12, honestly, even in my worst nightmares I don’t think I could have imagined it,” Deschamps told sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday.

Yet, expectations are still high that a team boasting the precocious young talents of the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Antoine Griezmann can repeat the feats of the French sides of 1998 and 1984 in winning the World Cup and Euros respectively on home soil.

“We have the chance to play at home, there will be pressure, but it will be positive,” said goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

“We have the obligation to have a good tournament and the objective is to win it.”

– Mean defence –

Deschamps’ men have been in fine form, winning nine of their last 10 matches over the past year with their only defeat coming to England when minds were focused elsewhere just days after the November Paris terror attacks.

Three goals in the final two warm-up friendlies for Olivier Giroud have come as a welcome relief for the Arsenal striker after criticism of his ability to replace Benzema up front.

However, there is no doubting the talent surrounding Giroud with two of the Premier League’s top performers this season in Manchester United’s Martial and Dimitri Payet of West Ham United competing for a place in a front three also containing Griezmann, fresh from a 32-goal season with Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid.

“There will be a different pressure, but we are ready. We are looking forward to it,” added Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna.

“The young players these days play without thinking, they don’t have any fear and play like they do with their clubs.”

While France’s forward line will be blessed with pace and youth, there will be plenty of experience at the back with all of the expected back four of Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Adil Rami and Patrick Evra in their thirties.

Romania’s hopes of springing a huge surprise will be based around a solid defence as they reached a first major tournament in eight years with the best defensive record in qualifying.

Anghel Iordanescu’s men conceded just twice in 10 matches in qualifying behind Northern Ireland in Group F and also held European champions Spain to a 0-0 draw in March.

However, without the star quality of a Gheorge Hagi or Adrian Mutu as in years gone by, Romania also struggled mightily for goals in qualifying, scoring just 11 times.

They would be delighted to frustrate the hosts before later games against Albania and Switzerland.

“The pressure on France is greater. If we manage to get a draw it would be extraordinary, and if we win it would be fantastic,” said Romania assistant coach Viorel Moldovan, who used to play in France for Nantes.

Source by: AFP

Check Also

柔王储与大卫柏罕相见欢,开心展示7號球衣

星期五,22/09/2017  「万人迷」大卫柏罕(David Beckham)昨晚与柔佛王储东姑依斯迈相见欢! 也是马来西亚足球协会主席的柔佛王储东姑依斯迈,昨晚在「南方之虎」面子书专页上分享了与大卫柏罕的合照,並开心展示印有「柏罕」名字的7號球衣。 该帖文在短短一夜间,收集了逾3万网民按赞及2千余次的分享。不过,帖文並没有提及两人的会面时间和地点。 大卫柏罕作为「AIA Vitality健康程式」宣传大使,昨日在出席新加坡场活动后,今日將旋风来马,到吉隆坡会议中心(KLCC Convention Center)出席「友邦保险健康生活之旅」活动。   图文来自:网路

趁出差观光檳城,行程手册迎商团

林冠英(中)于週四在St Giles酒店总经理吴乃庆(左起)及檳州会议及展览局首席执行员艾斯威陪同下,推介檳城超越会议行程手册。(网上图片) 星期五,22/09/2017  檳州会议及展览局(PCEB)推出「檳城超越会议行程」手册,欢迎来檳参与商务活动的人士或团体,在出席会议之余,也可趁机游檳城,体验这座集美食与观光景点于一身的城市。 檳州首长林冠英週四为有关手册主持推介仪式,他在致词时指出,继昨日宣布檳城將在2019年举办亚洲首场世界海產大会后,今日推出另一个引起国际商务活动市场关注的檳城產品。 林冠英表示,「檳城超越会议行程」手册是一个综合指南,把未经过滤体验檳城的精华,以及广泛的活动介绍给商务活动的代表们。 他表示,商务活动工业已证明成为引领檳城经济的主要驱动力,去年檳州创下1251场活动,估计带来8亿800万令吉的经济收益。 「今年,我將要求檳州会议及展览局打破10亿令吉的目標。」 冀包含主题乐园 他指出,有关手册介绍了不少檳城的美食及景点,不过他希望下次推出的手册將会包含主题乐园,因为光大TheTop今年杪將会增设新玩意,让民眾挑战在光大65楼高的建筑物以外走动,明年则有「笨猪跳」(bungy jump)。 此外,他说,檳州会议及展览局是在5个以檳城为基地的管理公司的諮询下,打造这个行程手册,並于下週在泰国举办的贸易活动中登场。   图文来自:网路

Leave a Reply

WooCommerce Themes Free
X