"Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face." - Albert Camus.
Fabien Barthez and French writer,Nobel Prize winner and philosopher Albert Camus( who incidentally was also a goalkeeper for his university team till he contracted tuberculosis in 1930 - which put an end to his football activities) are the inspiration for a unique French Football academy that aims to instil the values of citizenship in 11-16-year-olds from around the world and from all walks of life.
Mutual respect, discipline, understanding and a sense of team spirit are as important in football, say organisers, as in the communities where they live.
"All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football" - Albert Camus.
The academy is based in south-west France, at a school high in the Pyrenees, in the pretty spa town of Luchon.Mr Julia -one of the academy's top coaches says.....
"Every time a child saves a ball it's similar to every difficult situation they will face in life. Every time they jump to catch a ball, or go into a tackle, they need courage and commitment, and it's similar in life".
Mr Julia knows the importance of instilling the values of fair play and discipline within sport, to young people who may have lost their way in life. He has worked in some of the most deprived areas of French cities, known as the banlieue, or suburbs, where disaffected youths became embroiled in crime and other anti-social behaviour.
Young people fought running battles with police and set property and cars alight, during rioting around Paris and a number of other French cities in 2005.
More luck to the new academy and for the good work they plan to do...
Luck to Domenech and the French team too.Fabien Barthez was spotted at a behind-closed-doors training session with Les Bleus at Clairefontaine on Monday, two days prior to the World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Paris.The combination of football and philosophy looks pretty good from here...