France laments ‘shameful’ World Cup performance
Thursday's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mexico in the opening round of the World Cup has provoked a barrage of criticism from a disgusted French public, with newspaper reports and editorials reflecting the national disdain for the team and its coach.
France’s “useless” and “shameful” World Cup performance against Mexico on Thursday night has left French football “on the edge of the abyss”, according to the French press.
“Les Bleus” were defeated 2-0 by a superior Mexican team at Polokwane in South Africa in their first group match.
France now has very little hope of making it to the knockout rounds, and coach Raymond Domenech said he was “lost for words” after the defeat.
Not so France’s newspapers.
“The uselessness of the French team exposes the untruth of everything Domenech claimed about the team’s strength of character and capacity to react,” writes L’Equipe, France’s biggest-selling daily national newspaper.
“This morning, France must contemplate the field of ruins that is the national football team.”
Its leading article continues: “Sadness, despair and anger? That would be too much to give these men who have so little themselves to offer. The only banner under which this team is capable of rallying bears the motto ‘I Couldn’t Care Less’.”
‘Lacking in backbone and soul’
In right-wing daily Le Figaro, the headline screams “Les Bleus stand at the edge of the abyss.”
The article continues: “One cannot see how this team, so lacking in backbone and soul, could possibly wish for a miracle. The gods of football would have to fall on their heads to change a French selection that deserves nothing but opprobrium.”
For daily newspaper Le Parisien, France’s performance was “Pathetic. Not once did Les Bleus show any spark.
“But is it really such a big surprise? How can such an uninspired team selection transform itself overnight into a dream factory? A magic trick by players who don’t get on with each other? Through the inspiration of a coach who is always and forever fumbling in the dark?”
The regional press are equally scathing.
“They showed in six short days that they quite simply had no business being part of the South Africa World Cup,” writes L’Alsacse, lamenting the absence of star striker Thierry Henry. “With these ‘Bleus’, passes don’t connect, tackles are always lost, mistakes in defence are legion.”