History Corner : Parking the bus 1950s-style ?

Kopa v Germay crop

After picking up some helpful tips about how to improve French football from the 1920s, a couple of further forays to Montpellier’s book market (every Saturday on the Esplanade, also Peyrou Sundays – if it isn’t raining) produced ten copies of the periodicals Mirroir Sprint* and But Club – Miroir des Sports, dated between 1950 and 1955. These trace an interesting series […]

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Raymond Kopa: The First Modern Footballer

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Ask any French football fan to name the three best players in France’s history and they should all provide you with the same three names, the only issue up for debate being their ranking. Answers given will likely fall into generational categories: while the younger respondents may place Zinedine Zidane as the best, with the next age-group up preferring Michel Platini, […]

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Montpellier – after the storm

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Claudio Ranieri was sacked as Leicester Manager on Thursday – and on Friday, his statement was widely shared, starting “yesterday, my dream died”. As Leicester headed for the title last season, parallels were drawn with Montpellier’s win in 2011/12, which we addressed. Now, with Leicester still in the Champions League but in big trouble in the Premier League, it seems a good […]

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Film Bleu – Three French Football Stories They Should Turn Into Films

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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 […]

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Laurent Pokou – the African Pele

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It was with sadness yesterday that the passing of former Rennes and Ivory Coast striker Laurent Pokou was announced. Whilst not necessarily recognisable by name, his impact at both club and country level are still felt today and in the footballing world he will be greatly missed. After shining for his first club, ASEC Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, Pokou […]

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Pour faire progresser le football francais

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The post-mortems have started after France’s defeat in the final of Euro 2016. In the semi-final, they beat Germany in a competitive match for the first time since 1958, before going on to lose for the first time ever in a competitive fixture to Portugal, in a tournament arguably featuring more karma than quality. So, what is to be done? I […]

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Preview: Coupe de France Final – Marseille v PSG

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This is it. The last game of the French football season, the last chance for silverware; PSG aiming for a second consecutive domestic quadruple, Marseille looking to defend their status as record cup-winners. Ooh. Marseille may not have had the most successful or stress-free league season but their cup run has been a bright note, featuring six different scorers (admittedly one […]

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So Long, Gerland!

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On Saturday evening, after 65 years and 1,201 league matches, the Stade de Gerland saw its final Ligue 1 match as Lyon played host to SCO Angers. When Lyon comfortably beat Saint-Etienne 3-0 in early November, it would have been hard to believe that les Gônes would come into the Angers match off the back of three straight home defeats. A […]

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