Soccer Pass to Europe... France


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Home to the global football federation, FIFA, France has nurtured and grown an enviable number of football enthusiasts nationwide. The sport is most popular in the country and in 2009 alone, the Sports Ministry issued 96,000 football licenses (insee.fr). The people's love for the game has been rewarded by stellar performance by the national team during the late 20th century with an unforgettable upset of the world football giants, Brazil, in the 1998 World Cup Final being the epitome of football excellence in France. France is a relatively multicultural country, as the popular phrase "black, blanc, beur" suggests. So it was not surprising that France's 23 man squad, in the late 1990s, had 17 minorities in it.  Zinidine Zidane, Franck Ribery and of course New York Red Bulls' very own Thierry Henry are among the minority football idols France has produced. The nature of the French national team receives constant criticism form detractors as not being "French enough". However the trend of increasing presence of minorities in the French national team continues even at the national league level.

Unlike the English Premier League, the Ligue 1, as it is known in France, has a fairly distributed title-winning potential among most of the teams. 12 out of the 20 teams in the league this season have been crowned champions before. Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille and many other culturally rich regions in France are endowed with clubs that give fans hope of seeing tantalizing football matches every season. As expected, many historical champions would mean accumulating reasons for tense rivalries among teams. Rivalries are no less intense than they are in England, and matches of this nature are always coupled with some degree of hooliganism. Le Classique is the most famous football rivalry in France.  It is the name for a match day rivalry between Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Bad blood between fans and sympathizers of both teams is fuelled by history, politics, regional pride and of course adults ribbing each other till the next Le Classique. Out of 82 fixtures, Marseille has won 32 and PSG 30, with the remaining 20 settled as draws.

PSG is a playesr-purchasing mogul in Europe. Last year, it spent a whopping $171.9 million in one summer transfer window; making up 70% of all the money transfers made in France during the window (sports business). Their expenditure paid off excellently, as they won the league title and 4 out of 5 Le Classique fixtures in the 2012-2013 season.  The party may not last long though, as newly promoted and current table topper, AS Monaco, has started reaping profits from the extravaganza spending spree during the summer.  The team is also negotiating with the French FA to allow them to continue evading payment of taxes- no residential income tax in the state of Monaco; so much for financial fair play.

Although the Euro is gradually pushing aside even competitiveness in French football, the game will never lose its beauty. French love for the game is still strong and the multicultural nature of France will ensure a continuous inflow of wonderful talent into the national team and clubs across Europe.

om vs psg.jpg

Works Cited

http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/document.asp?reg_id=17&ref_id=16699#art2

http://blog.gmfus.org/2010/07/22/national-soccer-teams-and-integration-minorities-are-cheered-as-long-as-they-are-winners/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Global/Issues/2012/08/17/International-Football/PSG.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Classique



2 Comments

I am so excited about stem cell progress! As you said, there are infinite medical and health benefits! I can't even begin to explain how many people benefit and will benefit from stem cell research! But on a less serious note, did you know that stem cells are being used to develop kosher pork? I know it seems silly, but it's true! Read about it here:
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/the-jewish-thinker/1.542750

But basically, in the Jewish faith eating pork and other pig products is not good to eat (or kosher) and most Jews all over the world do not eat pork. But now, because of this science, many people will be able to enjoy bacon and pork chops for the first time! Neat, huh?

Oh wow, I posted the stem cell and soccer blogs too closely together. I should have waited a while.
Nonetheless lol on the Kosher though. Curing diseases and clearing conscience at the same time. Heck, this may even reduce the ethical tensions between conservative and liberal groups on the topic of stem cells. Hopefully, people do not get a false idea that babies will be used to make pork.Thanks for the interesting comment, I think others will find it interesting too so please post it again on the stem cell blog.

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