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Luxembourg vs France: The Return Of Ribery And Evra – Good Or Bad For France?

March 22, 2011 By Angela Asante
Banned boys Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery are back among Les Bleus as Luxembourg vs France and France vs Croatia are set to take place. Is their return good or bad for French football?

Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery have been named in France's squadCoach Laurent has a distinctive way of working things out. For his first game in charge of Les Bleus, the ex-Bordeaux manager preferred not to call any of the 23 players that had participated in France’s shameful 2010 World Cup campaign. This was his way of giving collective punishment following the disgraceful incidents which had occurred within the country’s national football team in South Africa.

However, Coach Laurent Blanc was quick to remind the public that resentment against any player wasn’t part of his emotions as his task is simply to build the best squad France can have. One of the 45-year-old manager’s philosophy is to blend youth with experience – which explains why the door for Ribery and Patrice Evra to return to their national duties was never closed.


Evidently, though, the inclusion of Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra hasn’t come without controversy. According to France’s sports minister, Chantal Jouanno, bringing back the duo defiles Les Bleus’ dignity and ethics. In January this year, Jouanno made these strong statements as AFP reported:

“Regardless of their qualities, it would be unacceptable to have them playing for France again. It’s impossible to disgrace our country and later pretend to play again in honour of France’s national football team.

“It would be a fatal error to forget what happened [during the 2010 World Cup]. I believe there are other talented players who have not stained France’s image and who are waiting for us to give them the opportunity to write a new page in our history of football. We must be unbendable on this matter.”

But Chantal Jouanno’s fight to keep Ribery and Patrice Evra away from France’s tricoloured jersey has been lost. The two experienced internationals have been called up by Coach Laurent Blanc and they are set to feature for Les Bleus against Luxembourg and Croatia in the next few days.

“She can say what she wants, [Laurent] Blanc is the coach,” said Ribery in a press conference recently according to Reuters as he commentated on Chantal's Jouanno's opinion. In truth, who is right and who is wrong between France's sports minister Jouanno and Laurent Blanc?

One thing which is certain is that this matter is a crucial issue. The outcome could be extremely positive or negative for France who seem to be in the last phase of their transition, from disgrace to greatness.

Luxembourg vs France: Les Bleus' Team Roster

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Cédric Carrasso

Defenders: Anthony Réveillère, Gaël Clichy, Philippe Mexès, Adil Rami, Mamadou Sakho, Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny

Midfielders: Alou Diarra, Yohan Cabaye, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M'Vila, Samir Nasri, Florent Malouda, Blaise Matuidi

Forwards: Karim Benzema, Kevin Gameiro, Guillaume Hoarau, Jérémy Menez, Franck Ribéry, Loïc Rémy

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