Thursday, 7 February 2013

International round-up: Sakho quote nonsense, Verratti goal glee, Ibra on buff Becks

No one likes losing to Germany, least of all France, who are about as keen on Deutschland as the average Tory MP is on gay marriage.

But lose they did last night at the Stade de France, as the Germans recovered from falling behind to Mathieu Valbeuna's goal to go on and claim a 2-1 win in Les Bleus' latest international friendly.

Mamadou Sakho played the full 90 minutes for Didier Deschamps' side, with Blaise Matuidi starting in midfield before being replaced at half-time by Toulouse's Etienne Capoue. Jeremy Menez also made it onto the pitch briefly as an 86th minute substitute.

Speaking of Sakho, you may have seen some pieces in the English media yesterday about him possibly wanting to leave PSG. Sky Sports were running a story with the following quotes:

"I will do everything to play at the 2014 World Cup, but I need to be playing week in, week out," said Sakho. "I cannot accept playing just a few minutes this season and next because this is a decisive moment in my career.

"At the end of the season I will sit down with my agent and club officials and clear up the situation.

"If I have to leave PSG to keep my place in the France national team, then I have no choice but to leave."

So far, so bad. But if you look at the actual quote he gave to Le Parisien, the story becomes somewhat less alarming. It starts with "this situation MAY arise in the summer, and if it did I would have to speak to my bosses."

Then he ends with: "I promise you that I'm now thinking about that for now. I'm thinking only about becoming a champion with Paris."

So there you go, player gives reasonable answer to question shock, hold the front page.

Elsewhere Marco Verratti took time out from his quest to break the world record for dissent-related yellow cards to score in injury time and earn Italy a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands. It was the teenager's first goal for his country, bravo Marco. Salvatore Sirigu was an unused substitute as usual, he and the other goalkeepers were probably sat on the bench sticking pins in their Buffon voodoo dolls.

Over in Sweden Ibra was strolling about as his side lost 3-2 to Argentina. Ezequiel Lavezzi popped up as a substitute for the Albiceleste, but Javier Pastore was left out of the squad once more. Zlatan's best contribution of the week was this quote on the arrival of David Beckham: "We are already a strong team, but now we are stylish too," he noted.
I don't know whether Becks was at Wembley last night, but if he was he would've seen Lucas Moura make a lively contribution as a second half substitute for Brazil, as they went down 2-1 to World Champions-elect England. Roy Hodgson's side are so good that they let aging Ligue 1 reject Fred score against them.

Finally, at the Africa Cup of Nations, Momo Sissoko's Mali bowed out in the semi-finals, going down 4-1 to Nigeria. Momo, who will now be heading for Fiorentina where he is on loan, even got involved in one of the Nigeria goals, deflecting Emmanuel Emmineke's shot past his own goalkeeper.

Nigeria had eliminated Ivory Coast - and Siaka Tiene - at the quarter final stage. It's not all bad news for Siaka though; bizarrely he's been added to our Champions League squad for the knock-out stages. Someone at the Parc-des-Princes must have been feeling charitable.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms