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Theme Changer

 Topic: France, the World Cup’s last standing ‘African’ team

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  • France, the World Cup’s last standing ‘African’ team
     OP - July 15, 2018, 06:22 PM

    Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old forward of Cameroonian and Algerian descent, slid and then posed, with his brown arms crossed, before being swarmed by his French teammates. He had just sliced through the Argentine defense for his second goal in the World Cup matchup of two of world football’s giants, officially putting the world on notice about his skyrocketing star and living up to the No. 10 he wore on his back. The boy from the Bondy banlieue, a ghetto in Greater Paris where young black and brown boys kick soccer balls on overpoliced concrete streets between overcrowded tenement buildings, had arrived.

    Les Bleus’ statement win, led by the brilliance of the young Mbappe, brought back memories of another Algerian Frenchman and product of a gritty French ghetto who wore the coveted 10, Zinedine Zidane, the talisman of the 1998 team that won France’s only World Cup title. Yet, the comparisons between the historic 1998 and the 2018 sides, vying to hoist France’s second golden trophy, only begin with the shared numbers and ancestry of Zidane and Mbappe. A review of this team’s roster, perhaps the most talented since the 1998 side, reveals that it is as much African as it is French. Further, like the only team that gave France its first and only World Cup championship, the team’s distinct Africanness is again inciting questions about assimilation in France, during a moment when racist populism is gaining momentum.

    "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well."
    - Robert Louis Stevenson
  • France, the World Cup?s last standing ?African? team
     Reply #1 - July 16, 2018, 09:43 PM

     Cry Cry Cry Cry Cry
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