France like a ‘small football nation now’

2010-06-18 08:04

France defender Patrice Evra gave a damning verdict on his team

after its 2-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico, saying he feels like France has become

“a small football nation, and it hurts”.

Yesterday’s defeat left France with only one point from two games

in Group A, and on the brink of elimination from the World Cup ahead of next

week’s final group matches, because both Mexico and Uruguay have four points

each and require only a draw on Tuesday to progress.

“I am deeply upset, even if it won’t change anything,” Evra said.

“Tonight I feel a bit like (we are) a small football nation, and it


France was eliminated from the European Championship two years ago

at the group stage without winning a match, and Evra fears the team is still

just as bad now.

“When you go out of the Euro in the first round, and then you are

about to go out again, you really don’t want to think about football any more,”

Evra said.

Evra had previously talked defiantly about team spirit and how the

team was ready to make an impression at the World Cup, despite many observers

tipping France to do poorly because of Raymond Domenech’s coaching and only

scraping through qualifying.

“There is nothing to say except that it is a huge catastrophe

tonight. I honestly didn’t see it coming,” Evra said. “What hurts is that we

didn’t know how to react, or how to equalise, and then they killed us with that

second goal.”

Evra stopped short of blaming the beleaguered Domenech for the

team’s total inability to win matches, or even score goals. But he refused to

protect his players and said harsh words may be exchanged in the next few


“What’s the problem? We’re not a good team. If we don’t win, it

means we’re not a good team,” he said. “We will speak to each other during the

week. I’m not going to start telling you (the press) what the problem is, I’ll

tell those concerned.”

Unlike his club career in which he has won Premier League titles

and the Champions League with Manchester United, Evra’s France career has been

miserable so far and he faces a huge task in lifting the players for Tuesday’s

game against the hosts.

“I’m disgusted, and we owe it to ourselves to beat South Africa,”

he said. “But as for miracles, I don’t believe in them too much.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.