Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Sport

French football players' 'bad boy' attitude

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-25

Samir Nasri's foul-mouthed tirade after France's defeat against Spain on Saturday night in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals is just the latest in a series of explosive incidents going way back to the 1980s.

AFP - Samir Nasri's scene stealing departure from Euro 2012 added to the rich history of French footballers not doing things by halves when they want to express their disaffection with their lot.

From Nicolas Anelka in the 2010 World Cup – one could say the whole squad – to the volatile Eric Cantona in 1988 to Jean-Francois Larios prior to the 1982 World Cup the French have led the way in creating headlines for the front pages as well as back pages.

Nasri turns 25 on Tuesday and may not have too many birthday cards or presents from his fellow French squad members after crossing swords with some of them during their ultimately stormy Euro 2012 campaign.

However, it is his foul mouthed rant in the mixed zone after the 2-0 defeat to Spain in the quarter-finals that could push Laurent Blanc to send him into the international wilderness once more.

Ironically it was Blanc who recalled him after the 2010 World Cup having been left out of that squad by Raymond Domenech because he was deemed a disruptive influence.

"I did talk to Nasri about his comportment with the press but evidently the message didn't get through," said a visibly angry Blanc on Sunday the day after Nasri's outburst.

"It is not very good for Nasri's image and neither is it for the team's."

Nasri at least returned with the rest of the squad which was not the case for Anelka, whose expulsion after a slightly shorter foul mouthed outburst at hapless coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of the 2-0 defeat to Mexico in the group stage of the catastrophic World Cup finals campaign.

'Go fuck yourself you dirty son of a whore!' screamed the striker, who had already acquired the nickname 'The Incredible Sulk' for his gloomy demeanour on and off the pitch.

But for the altercation appearing on the front page of L'Equipe – leaked by a mole – it is questionable given Domenech's lack of authority that Anelka would have been sent home but there was no choice with it being made public.

Most squads would have accepted this as a normal disciplinary measure against a player who had overstepped the mark but not this revolutionary group of players who then stayed on their team bus – and refused to train.

"Going on strike was the decision of a group that felt isolated, that felt no one had protected it and that wanted to get a message across," said Hugo Lloris at the time and who was to be completely forgiven as Blanc named him captain.

"We went way too far. It was a clumsy decision, a big mistake. It was totally stupid."

While theirs was a collective decision Cantona's was typical of his unique theatrical temperament reacting to what he took as a personal slight.

The mercurial forward, then aged 22, took such offence at being dropped from the France squad by Henri Michel – who had handed him his first cap – that he called him a 'bag of shit' – a one-year ban ensued unsurprisingly.

Whilst Cantona's choice of words were not exactly going to win him any friends or influence within the federation they may have struck a chord with some other players, but Larios's offence would have not found much sympathy.

Both he and Michel Platini were key members of the France squad set to participate at the 1982 World Cup finals.

However Larios, a star of the St Etienne side that dominated French football in the 1970's and early 1980's, had to be peremptorily sent home when allegations surfaced that he was having an affair with Platini's wife.

With Platini's star in the ascendant both on the pitch and in the dressing room Larios never represented his country again.

Sadly for France, Nasri has not followed Lloris' recent advice on how to turn the page post-2010.

"We need to get back to basics, respect for the jersey, for ourselves, our team-mates and the institution that is the France team."

 

Date created : 2012-06-25

  • EURO 2012

    Blanc defends tactics after Spain cruise to victory

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    Spain beat France 2-0 to reach semi-finals

    Read more

COMMENT(S)