Blues masters in the world … of business / Mondial 2002 / Fiasco des Bleus / Part 3/5 /

Jean de la Fontaine laughed with conceit, complacency and arrogance, often punished at the end of fables. It was in the perspective of a 2002 World Cup “won in advance” that France gave in to an indomitable and unreasonable collective euphoria. To the point of polluting his beloved Blues, further intoxicated by exaggerated mercantile urges and captured by their political instrumentalization …

“Did you have the idea for this whole circus? It’s completely stupid to have put this other star! Who do you think You Are? We are not the dream team! » Furax, Lilian Thuram apostrophes one of Adidas’ marketing executives. Just before France-Belgium on May 18, 2002, their historic equipment supplier rolled out a giant blue two-star jersey at the Stade de France! Some double world champion tunics are even ready to be marketed. On the eve of the French team’s departure for Japan, an entire country unites in the most joyous arrogance and megalomania …

England and 8is !

This unfriendly meeting won 2-1 by the over-motivated Red Devils, and which disrupts the preparation of the already exhausted Blues, gave rise to an endless ceremony after the match: for this farewell to the French team, decorated 2000 extras in red. Coca-Cola formed a heart in the middle of the lawn at the Stade de France around the 22 Blues mounted on a podium. This grotesque afterparty comes to conclude an anarchist preparatory course in Clairefontaine, phagocytosed by FFF’s commercial partners. During this “VIP week” (dixit Sagnol), the players had to go every day after the siesta to meet the televisions and the sponsors while walking from tent to tent and signing autographs. Their agents, who are also present on site, have already booked rooms at the Seoul Sheraton, where the reigning world champions will be staying … So enough is enough! This is why Lilian Thuram broke up by insulting Adidas’ alley. The hero from France-Croatia 1998 is one of the rare clear tricolors who has set himself up as a ridiculous violence against the tsunami of national pretensions, which has swept in since July 12, 1998. Lilian has tried to contain it for this blind supporter glow amplified by sponsors and media. Same The team, through its editor Christian Montaignac, conceptualized “PPP” (“Permanent Positive Thought”) to elevate the supremacy of the Blues, which has become almost invulnerable. The French team are our friends, as we call by their nicknames: Titi, Trezegol, Nino (Wiltord), Zizou, The Snake (Djorkaeff), Pat, Manu, Marcelo, Francky, Thuthu, Fabulous Fab. After becoming stars in folk magazines, we even know their companions: Betty, Véronique, Adriana, Elsa, Agathe …

The World Cup draw was made on the 1steh December 2001 placed France, seed No. 1, in Group A with Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark? Fastoche! So French football is already planning the quarter-final against England. As of March 2002, 73% of French people still see their favorite world champions in Asia. Before France-Romania in February, Lilian nevertheless warned: “It really is a fanting to imagine that you do twice! » The West Indies Cassandre added a layer before France-Russia on April 17: “Let us be careful not to fall into national euphoria. » Wasted energy! In this month of May 2002, the advertiser Jacques Séguéla presented the updated France 1998 slogan for the Asian campaign, “Victory is (always) in us” which, according to him, makes sense in this turbulent election year: “Victory is in us, in all of us. What can be said more beautiful to a people who doubt?” Canal + broadcasts simultaneously Eyes in the Blues II (first part, The preparation) in honor of the Eleven in France. This national euphoria dangerously helped to expand the commercial influence of the temple merchants, increasingly eager to exploit the blue hen that lays the golden egg. In 2002, the advertising barnum that invades Clairefontaine at every gathering of the chosen ones, and until the May practice, gives rise to comic partner tournaments between the teams of employees of France-Loisirs, Carrefour or Total-Elf …

The French team, advertising agency

Before France-Scotland in March 2002, Pierre Pibarot’s training ground was even requisitioned for Johnny Hallyday’s music video! For it obviously needed a very clumsy hymn to preserve the blaze before the announced triumph. The cruel song “All together” by Catherine Lara (“We are champions, we are all / This is the great battle France is facing”) will allow Johnny, a fan of Zazie (he meant “Zizou” !), to kick off France-Russia … Everybody, it is also the name of the daily program of TF1, full and exclusive TV broadcaster of the competition and “official channel” of the Blues, which will host Flavie Flament and Jean-Pierre Pernaut, who are supposed to entertain France until June 30 , the day of the final in Yokohama … FFF saw its advertising resources double between 1998 and 2002, thanks to around 50 partner companies and television rights paid for by TF1 and Canal +. The money is flowing! But the tragedy is that the Blues themselves are fully participating in the media-commercial circus, which is diverting them more and more from their sporting goals. It must be said that they receive up to 40% of the amounts that advertisers pay.

For personal contracts: Zidane is Volvic, Liza is France Telecom, Pirès, Pétrole Hahn, Petit, Elsève Shampoo, etc. Marcel Desailly, who is often injured this season at Chelsea, is selling his image and status as captain to SFR in addition to being hosts a show on TPS Star where he regularly interviews his French friends. No one raises the conflict of interest surrounding the privatization of the Blues for his personal benefit! Before his serious injury, Robert Pirès entered insider des Bleus in early February 2002 for a program called Pires Club about Europe 1: “I like Marcel” , he justifies himself … In light of the 1998 World Cup, Aimé Jacquet had demanded of his guys that they cease all media activity and that they settle their contractual situation at the club before the competition! A powerless observer of the large advertising circus in Clairefontaine before traveling to Japan, Roger Lemerre tries in vain to remobilize his guys, who are monopolized by the extra-sporting promotion by invoking their “memory obligation” (sic): “They need to remember how they won their first world championship” … But the ATM rules, nurtured by the myth of invincibility, which allows the juiciest speculations. Before France-Scotland, we celebrate the French team 1994-2002, ranked as the second best committee ever with only 8 defeats in 8 years, after Hungary 1945-1956. Even the future is assured: our U17s were crowned world champions in 2001, and our Espoirs are favorites for the European Championship 2002 (they want to be finalists)! So some of our A’s may still find time to go and sing the song on Love United anti-AIDS led by Pascal Obispo. The hedgehog Francis Lalanne, author of “To My Friend Kanak” dedicated to Karembeu, whistled at the Stade de France against Scotland, will command an official group of supporters around Operation Kop Korea!

Ambassadors in golden rivets

The triumphs of 1998, 2000 and 2001 also placed the Blues, despite themselves, at the center of political issues whose influence has steadily increased. Representatives of a black-and-white-beur France with a planetary aura, it is like true ambassadors, they are sent around the world to exalt a particular French model, multicultural and universalist. In October 2000, their meeting with the charismatic Nelson Mandela darkened the dull match against South Africa in Johannesburg (0-0). In September, the Blues in Chile will be received both as rock stars and as heads of state. In November, it is as a champion of happy globalization that “pushes us to open up all horizons” that Roger Lemerre justifies the insane trip to Australia, where the prestigious French team also partly alleviates the bad memories of our nuclear test explosions in the Pacific. Between Chile and Australia, on October 6, during France-Algeria, which was interrupted by the invasion of the field, the Blues were instrumental in resolving issues of integration and diplomatic reconciliation between the two countries. Tired of having to treat the wounds of a sick community without their knowledge, they will show little eagerness to respond to the order to block Jean-Marie Le Pen, who arrived on April 21 for the second round of the presidential election. Their press release, which at least supports Republican values, will be published by the FFF on Friday, May 3, two days before the second round.

The last straight line before the competition will feature a compendium of organizational, mercantile and megalomaniacal nonsense. Just before leaving for Asia, the FFF and Blues represented by Marcel Desailly conclude the bonus agreement. In the event of a final victory, they will receive around 1 million euros including a federal bonus of 305,000 euros per. player (200,000 for a finalist place), plus an adidas bonus of 150,000 euros as well as profit sharing in marketing revenue. to 540,000 euros. Early elimination is not considered, so players will not hit anything if they spray in the first round. But what to fear? France, first on the FIFA rankings, with its three best scorers 2002 Henry-Trezeguet-Cissé is number 1 favorite and won 3-1 by bookmakers in London. Six days before the World Cup, 68% of French people are still intoxicated by the dizzying salvo of Zizou 1eh against Leverkusen in the Champions League final (2-1) she believes will be world champion. They dream of a final against Argentina, another serious candidate for the title. Before leaving for Ibusuki, Aimé Jacquet was alerted France football : “Around this team there is a bit of bliss and sometimes a sense of superiority” … Zidane’s injury in the poorly timed match against South Korea in Suwon on May 26 will put a damper on French enthusiasm. This insane battle will reveal, according to JDD the following June 16, a poorly put together agreement entered into in July 2001 by a greedy FFF for a ridiculous sum of 200,000 euros, where the obligation to bring our dear Zinédine in line was not even included in writing …

Relive the failure of the French team during the 2002 World Cup:

  • Part 1 : How the Blues messed up the period 2000-2002
  • Part 2 : A problem named Roger Lemerre
  • Part 4: The defeat against Senegal and a disastrous group game
  • Part 5: One last crash in mondovision

    By Cherif Ghemmour

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