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World Cup 2014 – A spoofer’s guide to … France

by Aidan Elder | June 6, 2014

Fun Fact…

Possibly not that ‘fun’ if you were one of the millions of people who died as a result of his evil, but when Adolf Hitler visited Paris during World War II, the locals cut the cables on the Eiffel Tower lift so that if he wanted to climb to the top, he’d have to goosestep his way up the 1,665 steps. Ha! What a zinger. If only they devoted as much thought and effort into not letting him stroll into the country in the first place.

Wikipedia ‘Fact’…

France is famously protective of their culture and national identity, being particularly resistant to aspects of America that attempt to infiltrate the culture. In fact, when the Hangover movies were released in France it was called ‘Very Bad Trip’, No Strings Attached was renamed ‘Sex Friends’ and when Adam Sandler crapfest, Grown Ups 2 hit the nation’s cinemas, it was called ‘Bad Things Happen To Their Scrotums – That’s The Only Joke In This Movie’. Back in 2007, shortly after the release of ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ the French government passed a law that required all Adam Sandler movies must be accompanied with a health warning that says ‘Warning: This movie will make you stupider’.

National Hero…

French people all think they’re pretty great, but if they were to pick one out above all others, it would most likely be Charles de Gaulle – the heroic, funny hat wearing leader who defiantly stood up against the Germans during World War II. From over in London. Then there’s Louis Pasteur who saved millions of lives, but more importantly, helped us enjoy tasty McFlurrys through his invention of Pasteurisation. But perhaps the French person we owe greatest thanks to is Brigitte Bardot, the actress widely credited which making the bikini socially acceptable thanks to her willingness to romp around in one for much of her movies in the 1950s and 1960s. Scriptwriters were often criticised for devising plots with seemingly tenuous reasons for all this cavorting around semi-naked, but that claim was angrily denied by Alain de Groppiehands, who directed her in films ‘Oops, My Clothes Fell Off’ and ‘If I Don’t Have At Least 85% Of My Flesh Exposed To Sunlight At Any Given Time, I Might Die’.

Football Pedigree…

Despite some bleak periods in their footballing history when they regularly didn’t quality for major tournaments and had to pretend Stéphane Guivarc’h was a world class striker, France have had plenty of success at international level. And even when they weren’t having success, they still produced the odd brilliant player who they could feel smug and superior about – which still counts as success in French eyes.

They’ve got one World Cup win to their name and have finished in the last four other occasions. On the other hands, they’ve also exited at the first hurdle in seven of their 14 World Cup appearances, which is typically Gallic and enigmatic. This time around, manager, Didier Deschamps has gone with a squad that wouldn’t look out of place in the latter stages, but equally no-one would bat an eyelid if they were grumpily watching Very Bad Trip 3 on the first flight home, despite being handed a fairly simple group.

Acceptable National Stereotype…

A shining beckon of resistance to American cultural imperialism, capitalism and globalisation who recognise the importance of culture, diversity and sanctity of human life

Unacceptable National Stereotype…

Lazy, smelly misanthropes who think they’re better than you. And they’re pervy

Don’t be surprised if they…

Seem to be struggle and largely unimpressive, but end up sneaking their way surprisingly far into the tournament – maybe even to a semi-final

Odds to win World Cup 2014: 25/1

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