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SBD Global/July 3, 2012/International Football

French Team's Popularity Plummets Following Euro 2012 Loss To Spain

France Euro 2012 elimination and the reaction to the insults directed at a journalist from player Samir Nasri "have driven down the popularity" of the team, according to Stephane Joby of LE JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE. Before the Euro Championships, 56% of the French sympathized with the team. Three weeks later, the Ifop survey completed for the JDD revealed "there are only 20%" who still sympathize with "Les Bleus." The national team "is once again the little bad duck of French sports." The players are viewed as "bad, immature, individualists, overpaid and arrogant." Sports marketing agency Sportlab co-founder Gilles Dumas gave his reasoning for the 36% fall in three weeks time. Dumas: "In a period of crisis, we want the people that represent us to be examples and come together, especially when they make a lot of money." The survey was conducted on June 28-29, and 986 people 18-and-over were interviewed (JDD, 6/30).

NEW COACH: With Laurent Blanc stepping down as head coach of the national team, LE MONDE speculated that Didier Deschamps, who just stepped down as coach of French side Olympique Marseille, could be the man for the job. His past experience as a player for both clubs and the French national team along with his "coaching experience in Monaco, Juventus and Marseille" make him a candidate. The support of his "very influential past teammates like Zidane, Barthez and Lizarazu are in his favor." As are his methods: "his charisma, his record and his grip may be able to overcome a young loud mouth and individualistic generation" (LE MONDE, 7/2).
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