Living football the French way

They don't know how to play, they don't know how win and they don't know how to lose. No matter the subject, or the rivals, the French have demonstrated a historical unability to cope with the preparations, the execution and the outcomes of competition.

Last week, Paris hosted the final of the 2006 Champions League, the sport event of the year in Europe. The two top performers of European football, Barcelona of Spain and Arsenal of the UK showed football at its best.

Although I have as many reasons to support any London club as Barcelona, since I lived happily in both towns, this time I had to support Barcelona since Arsenal's captain is a French and I was fearing some lack of style was Arsenal going to win or lose.

So, there we were, looking for a bar to support Barcelona. We tried to get into the Frog pub, but it was full. We went to several other foreigner-friendly venues and didn't find room. At some point, we thought "what about going to some French cafè or bar and live football the French way??" (I promise, there was no non-French alternative!!!). This is how we landed in one of those corner bars... The venue and its regulars was pathetic: Lone French men and some fat French women sipping ONE beer watching TV. The barman making customers wait because he had to watch the match too and his girlfriend flirting with all the customers since her boy didn't pay any attention to her (well, he didn't pay attention to his customers either!).

At the end, Barcelona won, the customers left and we were overcharged by the French barman (he claimed that a orange juice with ice was a "large" juice and hence price was double: 8.40 Euro... this was the typical run-down French cafè in suburbia!).

The morning after, I read the news and could again validate that the French cannot lose. Contrary to the style and manners portrayed by the entire Arsenal guys after the defeat, the French captain had to talk to remind us that French will never learn to lose.

The BBC gives all the details, but here is a selection of Thierry Henry's reaction:

  • "I was kicked all over the place. I expected the referee to do his job. I don't think he did." (very French, accusing the others if things don't go your way. Henry, next time, PLAY BETTER!).
  • "The Frenchman, who was fuming after the game, also felt Samuel Eto's equaliser should have been disallowed for offside" (yes, yes, yes... nag, nag, nag).
  • "It was always going to be difficult to play Barcelona. But with 10 men that is almost impossible"... but Jens really played dirty and deserved the punishment... "Jens probably deserved to be sent off - there is nothing to be said about that. But in the first half Rafael Marquez and Carles Puyol went right through me and they didn't even get a yellow. Then I got the ball in front of the bench and Mark Van Bommel kicks me and I end up getting a yellow." (yes, yes, yes, Henry, THEY CAUGHT YOU and yes, life is unfair, but they caught you, and I will tell you more, everybody saw that Arsenal committed 4 times more injuries than Barcelona did).
  • Henry also defends himself from the sure-goal ball he got served that he lost: "I tried to do what I could and try and defend and try and bring the ball back and help the team, but if they allow an offside goal it is going to be even more difficult. Everyone was talking about Ronaldinho before the game. I didn't see him today and I didn't see Eto'o" (yes, of course, it was the referee's, the enemy's, the media's fault, we made him lose concentration...).
  • "We can be proud, we can be more than proud, but, I'm sorry, some of the refereeing today was horrendous" (yes, like after WWII, be proud, be proud, be proud of yourselves, keep accusing all the others).
  • However, Henry 'congratulated' Barcelona by saying: "You have to be fair in football - you have to be honest and well done to you if you've won, but you have to win in a good way" (well, Barcelona won in a good way, the referee showed as many Yellow cards as necessary, and you deserved one of them! Don't try to break a leg and you won't get "a yellow").

Anyways, Henry, thanks for that heart-felt congratulation. Those who supported the other team BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T PLAYING WITH THEM, truly appreciate your kindness.

* * *

Yesterday night, Athens hosted the final of the Eurovision (European Song Contest) 2006. Out of 23 countries, France ranked 21st, only above Israel and Malta. I cannot wait to read the news today and how the French interpret this new failure. Who will be responsible this time? The Americans? The jury? The Opus Dei?

The French cannot lose, this is why they don't deserve winning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just gonna comment about the Eurovision because I'm not a fan of football...

The hubby and I saw the finals of Eurovision last Saturday. Don't you know that at the end of the show, one of channel 3's commentator clearly said, "These guys (referring to the other countries) have a problem, they don't know that France had joined the competition."

What?!?!?!? We were laughing out loud upon hearing his you-guys-have-the-problem-not-us statement. "ça c'est typiquement des français", the hubby confirmed.

I'm not french but hubby is and I believe him.

-just a lurker-

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like Thierry Henry blaming the media ('I didn't see the Eto'o that the newspapers announced') unswering the question on why he missed an easy goal.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Boris said...

Your blog makes me laugh and I often agree with your opinions, but I must admit that your constant French bashing is getting tedious. If you hate it so much, why don't you leave ?? Or can't you stand the fact of going back to the UK, where you seem to belong? (only a Brit would make a reference of WWII in 2006... One of the few thing England managed to win, by the way. In my opinion, you cannot be anything else than English - but then again, life is full of surprises).

Don't get me wrong, I can't stand France either (and I am French!) and I left a long time ago, only to return on holidays every second year (and I religiously avoid Paris). But I just don't get it. Can't you leave, or are you a hardcore masochist? Stop paying ridicuous prices for your orange juice and JUST GO HOME!!

1:58 AM  
Blogger Uranus said...


My home is the world, or at least that is what I thought before I landed in France.
I was born in one country (not the UK) and I have lived in quite a few countries (including the UK), I always felt welcomed and like at home but France has proved the exception.

Why do I stay in France? Good question, I accepted a job here because I thought the cultural clash wasn't going to be as violent as it has turned out to be (I was one of those who thought that only a few voted for Le Pen and Sarkozy, and who that French rudeness was only a myth...).

I am now working towards getting out of this country. But the blog will continue, my initiative will go on.

This is not about bashing one nationality or one race (as some of the people who disagree with me put it). What I am campaigning against (and I will take my strugle to the country that gives me asylum) "French civilisation", the pervasive propaganda that started during the French Revolution and that made of many French people selfish, unapologetic and rude.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Dutch Papa!! said...

Dear Uranus & All,

man, your comments are sooooo funny!!! and well, you are right regarding French simply do not accept when they have lost, as they can not even think not being part of any important event in this world. Actually, I went to the soccer match in a very VIP zone, so I enjoyed seen how Arsenal lost the game.... I am more Ajax´s fan. But well, it was funny to watch after the game on TV the stupid comments of Thierry... MAN they just simply lost the game!!!! and he just fucked his team when he failed that easy goal... I think soccer is the main window to reflect how French think... blaming other people, not accepting the facts, creating their own reality and calling asholes to the ones that do not agree with this parallel universe.

As U, I signed for couple of year with my company, so after this nightmare and saving all good money I am earning from this stupids frenchies I will just take the train back home... so, I do not think we are being rude with Frenchies, as I think the ones that are the EVIL are the ones in Paris, and we just post in this blog as a hobby and as an scape to this day by day in Paris. So lest keep making fun of this stupids guys of Paris, lets keep working and earning the money they do not want to win with a good work!!!! I mean, we are in the middle of Paris with stupid Frenchies from Paris, let's take the chance and make Money!!! then when we are really rich we can leave .... in addition, Let's kick their ass in World Cup!!!! cuz, man you are gonna have lot of material during the WCup to destroy this asholes!!!!!

Boris, man.. you are funny too!!!

Let's keep rocking and posting...



Brighton rules!!!!

Mr T

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Anything france touches just becomes rotten. Letting them play football/soccer is a shame for this game. They just can't understand nor respect the rules of the game, or any rules for that matter. Let's create "french football" : restricted to french players, as many as possible per team, a tele-operated bomb for the ball, and I'll press the button any time I choose !! BOOOMMM !!! HAHAHA !!

Kill the french ! Free the world !!

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Uranus, I have lived in France for more than 4 years now but finally I am returning to the UK. I've had enough of working with French people. I find that in general the French are pleasant company in a social context.
However, working with them is a completely different thing. I work for an estate agency. When I started I worked extremely hard to establish the UK branch of the business. I brought in a lot of profit for the company. My bosses thought that I was wonderful. What I didn't realise was that one of my French colleagues, not all of them just one in particular became very jealous of my success and resented the praise given by my bosses. Of course I know all this now when it is too late. The jealous French bastard started to undermine the work that I was doing by deleting e-mails meant for me, not passing on messages from buyers, sellers and notaires. All of this was done in such a way that it could be argued he had simply done this in error. He hid new properties when they came in, hid files and dossiers. All in all he set out to destroy everything that I created and because he is French and my bosses, one in particular, is a chauvinistic Frenchman nothing was done about the bastards actions when I complained to the bosses. The bastard got away with seriously damaging the company profitability. I can't understand a mentality that does that but even worse neither can I understand the mentality in an employer that allows him to get away with it without any challenge. It's completely insane. Anyway, the good to come out of this is that I now realise that this country is not for me at all and never will be. It's Ok for a holiday and that's all. I will be reurning to the UK in July of this year and I can't wait. I do sympathise with you Uranus but you must find a way out of this dog hole called France before it destroys your sense of fun and proportion. Oh! By the way I recently discovered that one of my bosses used to be a notaire but he was disbarred, or whatever it is they do to notaires, wait for it, for embezzelment of clients funds. So no surprises really they all seem to be little crooks.

Rule Britannia!!!

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Boris said...

Andy: You make no sense. No sense at all.

UK soccer teams would be very weak indeed without their French players. Oh, and we're still waiting for England to win another world cup. It's been forty years now.

If you're going to criticise France, at least go there and experience something else than filling your trolley in Calais.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Boris : Yeah, sure. You're french, aren't you ? Don't try to understand, it'll hurt the inside of your head, that place where other people have brains.

Kill the french ! Free the world !!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Uranus said...

Dear Mr or Ms Rule Britannia,
I can picture your situation quite well and I am sorry that you had to go through it. I do not think, however, that that one case that you develop is unique or that you were the unlucky guy... What happened to you and what happens to many others in this country follows a pattern of national behaviour. I recently bought a book titled "The 48 Rules of power", as you can imagine a recipe book for playing politics in the corporate world, and guess what, almost every single example of conspiracy and stabbing in the back is set in France!

I truly envy you if you already got your ticket back to the UK and I hope I can join you soon!


1:14 AM  
Blogger Uranus said...


Just a little note of caution when judging the performance of "French" football of "French" football players: It is only now that they give first-class citizenship treatment to the guys of African descent who can kick a ball well, that France appears in the international competitions.

It seems like the approach to immigration is: If they don't kick the ball, let the police kick them!


1:17 AM  
Blogger Uranus said...

Dutch Papa, Mr T and Andy.

You are just TOO FUNNY!!! It is hard to believe you don't have a blog yet!

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi uranus,

Does the book "48 rules of power" have a french version? I'm interested to buy. My husband just experienced a serious "stabbing at the back" 3 days ago. I'm sad to say that he has a similar experience with Ms/Mr Rule Britannia. Thanks.

overwhelmed in france

1:37 AM  
Blogger Uranus said...

I just went to Amazon.fr and looked up for "Robert Green" and 48 (the book is titled "The 48 Laws of Power") and to my surprised I could not find it translated into French.

I guess that all the principles and theories about stabbing people in the back are so embedded into the French people's blood that they have no need to read any book.

I have not finished reading this book, but I can recommend it, it is gracefully written and the practical learning are worth the investment.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Boris said...

Hmmm. I really thought this blog would lead to something else than dumb French bashing.

Andy: I am also Australian. But then again, 1/2 French, 1/2 Aussie probbaly makes me 1/4 of a human being if I can judge from your thoughtful comments.

I won't visit this blog again as it's not leading anywhere.

Oh, and Uranus, I thought we were talking about soccer, not racial economical divide. But it seems that any excuse is a good one for a bit of French bashing, hey?

Hasta luego. Have fun agreeing with yourselves in your pointless discussions.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Uranus said...

I am not sure where this blog should take you to. I think the goal is very clear in the description of the blog: Contributing to the fall of French civilisation.
Dumb French bashing? There are many blogs with "dumb French rosy pictures", I don't just tolerate them, I even participate in the debates.

Not sure what is the gap between the stated goal of this blog and your conclusion. There's French bashing, yes, but it is prejudice-free. I do not write any opinion or conclusion without providing evidence first, and the reality is that most of the people who write here happen to live or have lived for long in France.


2:39 PM  
Anonymous philippa said...

URANUS wrote:

"I do not write any opinion or conclusion without providing evidence first,"


"......(the book is titled "The 48 Laws of Power") and to my surprised I could not find it translated into French."


"I guess that all the principles and theories about stabbing people in the back are so embedded into the French people's blood that they have no need to read any book."

This type of senseless zero thought insult insult is pervasive throughout this blog.

It started out interestingly enough, but this blog has led to some weightless idiocy. What a shame that in your 3 horse revolution (with that illiterate idiots MR.T and Andy), you've managed to sink below the French.

3:28 PM  

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