Les Bleus 2006: The colonies giveth back again, this time even more

The French colonies have given back to France and more when it comes to soccer.
Remember Jean Tigana of the famed 1982 and 1986 squads. Tigana was born in Bamako, Mali. WIth Michel Platini, Luis Fernandez, and Alain Giresse, they formed the ‘magic diamond’ midfield that nearly brought them the World Cup twice. The Germans outdid them in the semi-finals including the classic 1982 semi-final in which Germany beat Frence on PKs 5-4.
Over the years, French soccer has been defined by the contributions that immigrants from their colonies have have made. The 1998 World Cup winning squad had Marcel Desailly(Ghana), Lilian Thuram (Guadeloupe), Zinedine Zidane (Algeria), Thierry Henry (Guadeloupe), Christian Karambeu (New Caledonia).
Even immigrants from non-Francophone countries have left a distinct mark on French football. Raymond Kopa, one of France’s alltime greats (in Pele’s list of 125 greatest living players) who led the French to a third place finish in the 1958 World Cup was of Polish origin. The list also includes Bixente Lizarazu, Youri Djorkaeff, Luis Fernandez, and Roberto PIres.
This year’s team is even more a kaleidoscope of diversity and multiethnicity
DF Jean-Alain Boumsong (Cameroun)
DF Pascal Chimbonda (Guadeloupe)
DF Éric Abidal (Martinique)
DF William Gallas (Guadeloupe)
DF Lilian Thuram (Guadeloupe)
MF Patrick Vieira (Senegal)
MF Alou Diarra (Senegal)
MF Claude Makélélé (Zaire)
MF Florent Malouda (French Guiana)
MF Vikash Dhorasoo (Mauritius)
MF Zinedine Zidane (captain) (Algeria)
FW Sidney Govou (Benin)
FW Sylvain Wiltord (Guadeloupe)
FW Thierry Henry (Guadeloupe)
FW Louis Saha (Guadeloupe)
FW David Trézéguet (Argentina)
FW Djibril Cisse (Cote D’Ivoire)
The only French origin players are Fabien Barthez, Gregory Coupet, Mickael Landreau, Gael Givet, Franck Ribery, and Mikael Silvestre.
In contrast, the only player in the Azzurris that can claim non-Italian ethnicity is Mauro Camoranesi, who is Argentian by birth.

4 comments on “Les Bleus 2006: The colonies giveth back again, this time even more
  1. One thing to remember in your article. Martinique is integral part of France since 1660 and Guadeloupe since 1674. Other more “ethnic” parts of France like Savoy or Nice became only French in 1860. France has never defined itself by an ethnocentric view and therefore this article is only crap.

  2. Anonymous,
    I must disagree with you on at least some part. Certainly Martinique and Guadaloupe have been integral to France for sometime, but to say that ethnicity needs no mentioning is quite off. Have you already forgotten the recent Paris riots, which if I recall certainly were influenced by many ethnicities?
    The fact that Les Bleus are such a cohesive group on the pitch is a great testimony to overcoming obstacles through sport. For an example of how to let race/ethnicity negatively effect sport, witness most Spanish National Football sides.

  3. What about willy sagnol isn’t he of french origin?Camoranesi does have some italian ancestors by the way.

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