Sarkozy visits French team ahead of Euro

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The French president arrives Monday at the national team’s training base and spends almost 90 minutes talking and having lunch with the team.

2 June 2008

CLAIREFONTAINE - French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid a visit to the France football team on Monday, a week ahead of their opening Euro 2008 game against Romania.

Sarkozy arrived at the French team's training base here by helicopter along with Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot and secretary of state for sport Bernard Laporte and spent almost 90 minutes talking and having lunch with the players and coaching staff.

"I wanted to tell you that during this Euro, there will be a lot of pressure on you given what you have already achieved," Sarkozy said.

"Remember that all France will be behind you whatever happens. The most important thing is to go out and enjoy yourselves.

"Sport is like life in that you're not sure of winning every time. Myself, I lost a lot before winning."

Sarkozy sympathised with the plight of coach Raymond Domenech, who has to cut his squad from 30 to 23.

"I've thought about the coach," he said. "What Raymond's done is what is the most difficult to do, no matter what your job is: to assume responsibilities while making decisions.

"Football has a shared point with politics: all French people are coaches, all French people are presidents of the republic."

[AFP / Expatica]

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