Film Bleu – Three French Football Stories They Should Turn Into Films
The French are renowned for bringing class, finesse and passion to the game of football. Manufacturing icons throughout the years such as Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, David Ginola, Eric Cantona and so many more, we remember legendary moments of football that will stay with the sport for as long as it lives.
Throughout the development of French football, there have been a few standout moments that could be transformed into full-length feature films, two of which are less known to the average football fan, but one known to every French person across the globe.
Faith MacAnas is a French football fanatic who loves digging deep into the history of the game, unveiling hidden treasures that have shaped the journey of this nation as well as the sport. She also likes to relive famous football moments, watching classic games from the past. She proposes three moments in French football history which could easily make it to the big screen.
Jules Rimet Still Gleaming
The first world cup trophy was a French invention created by Abel Lafleur, who studied as a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the heart of Paris. Inspired by Nike, the form on the trophy resembles the Greek Goddess of triumph. Though the first-ever world cup tournament to take place wasn’t held in France, Lafleur was commissioned nevertheless to manufacture a trophy for the event.
Lafleur was popularly known in his community for creating nude female sculptures. His love for the figure and his artistic flair would all come into play when devising the now famous Jules Rimet trophy. Initially, the award was named ‘Victory’ after the Greek Goddess, but in later years it would get its proper name after Jules Rimet, the FIFA president, who took the trophy with him to the first-ever World Cup, held in Uruguay. Rimet played a large role in the creation of the World Cup as we know it, and is still the longest-serving FIFA president there’s been to date with 33 years under his belt.
The Jules Rimet trophy continued to be the main award for the tournament until the year 1970 when Brazil won it for the third time through sheer brilliance on the football field, and got to keep it in perpetuity. Since then it has been featured in an English National Football song, ‘Three Lions on the Shirt’, the lyrics referring to “Jules Rimet Still Gleaming”. It was also stolen twice, in 1966 before England hosted the World Cup, and in 1983 – the second time, it wasn’t recovered.
With Jules Rimet being a Frenchman and Abel Lafleur sculpting the trophy, it’s fair to say that these two gentlemen, and France, contributed a lot to the creation of possibly the world’s most famous sporting event. This is surely film-worthy material.
France Lift the 1998 World Cup
The 1998 World Cup was particularly special due to the class of players emerging and the end result being immensely sentimental and tear-jerking for the entire nation of France. With virtuoso players such as Ronaldo – real Ronaldo – showcasing unbelievable talent years before the famous Portuguese star graced the silver screen, Zinedine Zidane was also creating football history, and Thierry Henry made his debut world cup appearance. This tournament was a concoction with only one outcome: 100 percent football gold.
France had yet to win a World Cup title, and again it seemed the Brazilians were fully-focused and set to win with their incredibly skilled squad and the unstoppable Ronaldo up front. However, the French national team stared fear and the impossible dead in the face and brought victory to France on their home turf. France has only won the World Cup once, and in 1998 it was their time.
This tournament was home to many of the most iconic moments in football history. There was David Beckham’s red card, Michael Owen’s amazing goal against Argentina, Ronaldo’s endless stream of goals, Roberto Carlos’ free-kicks and of course incredible football played by the French team which took them all the way to triumph. You can relive these moments via the magic of YouTube and many other websites these days, if any videos are censored you can still perhaps watch them using a Virtual Private Network. It’s very easy to get sucked back into the tension and glory that was World Cup 1998 in France.
Alex Villaplane – The French Captain Who Murdered For Hitler
This story is unlike the others mentioned in this article, as it is a dark, chilling truth about a hard time in history where the Nazis reigned over Paris during the Second World War. Alex Villaplane was a keen French football player who had a bright future ahead of him. He was spotted countless times by scouts and various authorities who could step his career up a notch. In time, he was known to be the best header of the ball in all of France and soon captained the national team in the World Cup tournament against Mexico in 1930.
However, this would be the ultimate height of his footballing career, as soon after his attitude and enthusiasm became slack. He missed many training sessions and began to live a chaotic lifestyle. This led to him being thrown around by football clubs and managers until they’d all had enough of him.
Then came the Second World War, and the Nazis had taken rule over Paris. Alex Villaplane ended up joining the Gestapo, rounding up Jews and rebels so that they could be tortured and murdered. It’s said that Villaplane fired many of the final shots. He was also seen smirking and enjoying the process of robbing the dead. It’s hard to believe that a man with such a promising future threw it all away and became so cold-hearted.
When the Germans weakened, and it seemed as though they were going to lose the War, Villaplane changed his attitude and begged for mercy from his fellow Frenchmen. However, it wasn’t received kindly. Alex Villaplane was shot dead for being a traitor on the 26th of December, 1944. This is a tragic story, but one that needs to be told.
Out of these three French football stories, there is surely room for a full-length feature film. In each of these events, there are all the elements a Hollywood film director and writer could wish for. Will we ever see them brought to the big screen? Only time will tell.
Do you think any other French football stories are worthy of being turned into films? Leave us a comment in the section below.