France's infighting at the 2010 World Cup led to a legendary meltdown that saw Nicolas Anelka get sent home mid-tournament for giving then-manager Raymond Domenech a bit of lip and the entire squad later boycotting a training session. And now after its first loss at Euro 2012, cracks are beginning to show once again.
Following France's 2-0 loss to Sweden in its final group stage match, resigning them to second place in Group D and an unwanted date with Spain in the quarterfinals, the vibe within the French squad turned nasty. From the Guardian:
"Yes, it got a bit heated, but then everyone had a cold shower," [manager Laurent] Blanc said. "It shows that there was a bit of electricity. I hope there will be against Spain, because we'll need it."
[Florent] Malouda chose not to speak to the media after the defeat as he was afraid of what he might say. He is France's most experienced player and was part of the World Cup squad that shocked a nation by going on strike at training two years ago after Nicolas Anelka was sent home.
"What I saw awoke some demons in me and I didn't want to express myself," he said. "Because in the heat of the moment there was the risk of launching rockets and missiles. There are some things to sort out and sometimes you can really hurt someone with a comment that you make." [...]
Of the dressing room disagreement he said: "Sometimes you need to aim a few bursts of gunfire at each other .
"We said quite a few things to each other in the changing room, which is a good thing as it's proof that we have temperament and character.
"Balance is fragile and when you start thinking you're at the Euro to shine individually then the wheels can start to come off. You pay very dearly for every error at a Euro. There's personal objectives and then there are collective objectives."
Those comments make it sound like Samir Nasri was one of the people on the receiving end of those "bursts of gunfire" after he celebrated his goal against England by shushing the French journalists who had been critical of him. Luckily, we have acquired a transcript of what was said in the dressing room...
Malouda: I vote we literally throw Samir under the bus. And then run over him. Who seconds that motion?
Nasri: Nope. Arsene Wenger already tried that.
Mexes: Shut up, Samir. This isn't all about you.
Nasri: Don't tell me to shut up! You look like Fernando Torres with a venereal disease and your neck tattoo is something off a toy pony.
Cabaye: Meanwhile, anytime you want to actually score a goal Karim, that would be awesome. K thx.
Benzema: Hey -- at least I wasn't involved with an underage prostitute...oh wait, I actually was.
Ben Arfa: I am better than all of you!
Evra: That's it. I'm boycotting everyone. Except Marvin the Martian.
Martin: My name is Marvin Martin.
Diarra: More like Hatem Ben Barfa.
Ben Arfa: OK, Diarrhea.
Diarra: Yeah, like I've never heard that one before.
Ribery: Just so you know, I rigged the showers so only cold water comes out. Enjoy.
Evra: OK, now I'm temporarily unboycotting everyone just until someone tells me what happened to my shower shoes. ... Really? No one? Fine. You're all reboycotted. Especially you, Martian!
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