40 years later, English and French will meet in the World Cup this Saturday evening in the most beautiful stadium in Qatar, as if it were written in the specifications that this shock needed a sublime setting to repair a mistake of the past.
As if the gods of football had finally chosen, after four decades of patience, to offer this sport and its public a confrontation which could, which should enter into the legend of France – England and of the competition. In 1982, the year of the last meeting between “Frogs” and “Rosbifs” in a World Cup, Michel Hidalgo’s France had died out, shaken by the blazing sun in Bilbao against Bryan Robson and Terry Butcher.
We remember moreover the elimination of the Blues in a semi-final of anthology in Seville against the FRG of Harald Schumacher than this opening match in San Mamés. Since then, the Nationalmannschaft and the tricolors have written the pages of their rivalry, their antagonism, their “I love you neither.” hate each other, laugh at each other a lot in a fratricidal struggle that bides its time to lean towards one or the other.
Rugby has its “crunch”, football awaits its sparks
This Saturday, at the gates of the desert in the enclosure of Al-Bayt, at 8 p.m. in France, it will be a historic first between the two selections in a knockout match, World Cup and Euro combined. This is to say the excitement, the enthusiasm, the magic and the impatience which surround the event, followed by millions of French men and women in search of warmth and twists when the outside temperatures refer to the freshness of a winter approaching.
Because this clash, which we think is traditional, is in fact unusual among footballers, even if many “Frenchies” have historically found in Great Britain the ideal place to express and develop their talent. In rugby, the “crunch” translates from the language of Shakespeare to that of Molière as the crack or the screeching and reveals all of the unrestrained power of the blows that English and French give each other, oval ball in their hands. He is above all the qualifier given by the rugby players of the two countries to their tete-a-tete to testify to the level of reciprocal hatred which animates them in a sacred opposition which cannot be lost, nor be missed.
The world champion against the finalist of the last Euro
This quarter-final of the World Cup is conducive to sparks and could finally be the expected jewel. Because France and England are two ultra-competitive teams, in many areas, and Arsène Wenger, the most English of the French, even spoke of “final before time” in the daily “L’Équipe”, this Friday . The reigning world champion has in his ranks a genius with Kylian Mbappé, a maestro with Antoine Griezmann, an aesthete with Adrien Rabiot, the top tricolor scorer with Olivier Giroud.
The English finalist of the last Euro is not left out with his nugget Jude Bellingham, his blasters Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, his formidable leader Harry Kane. A French selection accustomed to hot moments against a formation of the “Three Lions” in search of international success since 1966, but also never very far from the mark since 2018. “It’s an event with a particular flavor, testifies Hugo Lloris, Tottenham goalkeeper since 2012, and this rivalry breeds big battles. England is a great nation. This announces a very big game”.
letelegramme Fr Trans