On the eve of the start of the Euro (June 11-July 11), Emmanuel Macron goes to Clairefontaine this Thursday to support the world champions, thus continuing a tradition launched by Jacques Chirac in 1998. The opportunity to return on the most significant moments between the Presidents of the Republic and the Blues.
It has been a tradition since 1998. On the eve of a major international competition, the players of the France team have become accustomed to receiving a visit from the President of the Republic. Less than 24 hours before the start of the Euro (June 11-July 11), Emmanuel Macron therefore goes to Clairefontaine this Thursday to support the Blues of Didier Deschamps. He will take the opportunity to give an exclusive interview to Mohamed Bouhafsi and Jean-Louis Tourre (live on The Indian Paper at 2:30 p.m. and in “Top of the foot” on RMC at 6 p.m.). Football fan, assumed supporter of OM, Macron is a connoisseur, able to talk about transfer window with Kylian Mbappé, futsal with Wissam Ben Yedder, or to give his opinion on the return to the selection of Karim Benzema. In 2018, Paul Pogba and his band had even seen him ensure the atmosphere after their victory in the final of the Russian World Cup, with a “dab” released in the tricolor locker room in front of hilarious players.
Chirac, beers and cigarettes
Between the Blues and the French presidents, relations have not always been so fusional. More fascinated by sumo fights, to the point of calling one of his dogs “Sumo” … Jacques Chirac, for example, was not at ease on the grounds or in sports arenas. But beyond his political career, his life has been linked by special moments with the France team. Sometimes sincere, sometimes tinged with opportunism. How not to remember his playback when he pretended to chant the names of the Blues before the final against Brazil in 1998? That day, Jacques Chirac had obviously forgotten to revise his composition. Two days later, it was with a slip of the tongue that he had welcomed the new world champions to the Elysée garden party. Microphone in hand, he took the floor to launch a: “The France team and the Coupe de France”, before catching up: “Uh, the World Cup, sorry!” Not enough to tense the players of Aimé Jacquet.
Jacques Chirac had even made some of them laugh. “He told me that he didn’t like me, Emmanuel Petit had remembered four years ago in the program” Le Vestiaire “on RMC Sport. Then he had launched me again with the smile that c was because his wife adored me. ” He had in fact attracted the sympathy of the Blues even before the competition by sharing a meal with them at Clairefontaine during which he had whistled one or two Corona, his favorite beer, and by launching into salacious jokes with Roger Lemerre, then assistant to Jacquet. “That evening, he became one of us,” Didier Deschamps said. His time in Germany for the 2006 World Cup remains just as legendary. “I have extraordinary memories of Jacques Chirac’s visit after the match against Brazil (in the quarter-finals) where he absolutely wanted to see Zizou (Zidane), Willy (Sagnol), Makelele … I told him: ‘ wait a bit ‘because I knew what they were doing these assholes !, had told the doctor Jean-Pierre Paclet, former doctor of the Blues, on RMC Sport. “
When Sarkozy spoke of women with Henry
“They were having a small cigarette after the match. It was wonderful to see the President of the Republic facing a player who was sitting on the toilet seat and another in the sink. That’s it. a scene that marked me. ” More or less embarrassing anecdotes between Nicolas Sarkozy and the Blues, there are also. With in particular a visit to Clairefontaine, before Euro 2008, considered a little too long at the time by Raymond Domenech. “It was very nice. He arrived at noon and he had to leave at 1:15 pm, or even 1:20 pm. And he left at 2:30 pm. He had to be kicked out because there was training!”, Had entrusted the former coach of the Blues in 2016 on C8. In 2012, the Nouvel Observateur unveiled details of another meeting, which took place in a very different context between Sarkozy and Thierry Henry, in the wake of the French fiasco at the South African World Cup in 2010. With surprising discussions between both men, especially on … women.
“Changing woman is like changing club, we do it to relaunch,” said the top scorer of the France team, for example. To which Sarkozy would have replied: “When you change clubs, you earn money, while when you change women, you lose money.” Between the selection and the presidents, relations have also been marked by certain misunderstandings. As in 2016 when François Hollande wanted to meet with the boss of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët. In confidences made to journalists Fabrice Lhomme and Gérard Davet, authors of the book “A president should not say that …”, the head of state had advised certain footballers to “muscle the brain”, believing that they were ” passed from poorly educated kids to extremely wealthy stars, without preparation “.
Holland and the scramble on Le Graët
Hollande had explained to Le Graët that his words had been totally exaggerated, badly reported and that they were out of context. While ensuring that he was the first supporter of the Blues and that he had vibrated as rarely before Euro 2016, where he had attended meetings with the boss of the FFF, such as the semi-final between France and the ‘Germany at the Velodrome.
“I am in the stadium. Noël Le Graët is next to me. We do not really dominate the match but we win 2 to 0. There is a scene where, I think it is on the second goal, I jostle Noël Le Graët because he was a little amorphous. I don’t know why but we had just qualified with the second goal, we reached the final. It’s always a pleasant memory, which I remember at Noël Le Graët for him say that I shook it that day, “he recalled last March on the set of the L’Equipe channel. We hope for the same scramble with Emmanuel Macron this summer during the Euro. It would be a good sign for the Blues.