Sportress of Blogitude


So, France’s Sports Minister Gave A Motivational Speech Before Team’s Match…

How did it go, you ask? Let me put it to you this way: she’s no Matt Foley, that’s for damn sure.

Prior to France’s make-it-or-break it match against host South Africa, France’s Sports Minster Roselyne Bachelot tried to get the team all pumped up with some good old fashioned French motivation techniques, vis-à-vis shaming them into some semblance of a respectable level of competition, despite the fact France’s head coach Raymond Domenech drastically altered the lineup with six replacements, including dropping captain Patrice Evra from the roster.

So what did she say? While patting herself on the back by claiming that the squad  “applauded me and they were crying” after the speech, Bachelot recounted her motivational speech to the press (via an AP report in The Seattle Times):

She said she asked the team: “How would you like people to remember you?”

“What image do you want to leave behind?” she added.

“It’s your kids, our children, for whom perhaps you will no longer be heroes. It is the dreams of your partners, your friends, your fans that you have perhaps broken. You have tarnished the image of France.

“French soccer is facing a disaster, not because it lost a match but because this disaster is a moral disaster,” Bachelot said. “The reality of the situation must be faced head-on. It is not merely just a bad period that must be gotten through, nothing will be like it was before. I said so to the players in an extremely emotional meeting.”

So, I know you are dying to know: how did it play out? Did she inspire the team enough for them to march on to glorious victory?

South Africa 2, France 1

Oops. Apparently, her pregame pep talk which made the Frenchies cry like little babies wasn’t quite on the level of, say, a “Win one for the gipper” kind of speech. Sacrebleu in a Peugeot down by the Seine. Sacrebleu in a Peugeot down by the Seine, indeed.

Bachelot reduces French World Cup players to tears [The Seattle Times/AP]
South Africa tops 10-man France, but becomes first host nation knocked out in group stage [ESPN]