World Cup 2022: Portugal crushes Switzerland and joins Morocco in the quarter-finals

In a state of grace: Portugal qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday December 6 by sweeping Switzerland 6-1, without their star Cristiano Ronaldo, who entered only at the end of the match, but with a hat-trick from the substitute of “CR7”Goncalo Ramos.

The Seleçao, which had not reached this stage of the competition since 2006, will meet Morocco on Saturday December 10 (at 4:00 p.m.) as favorites. A little earlier, the “Atlas Lions” they created the sensation by eliminating Spain on penalties (0-0, 3 pens to 0).

Why did you leave Ronaldo on the bench? “I already talked about it. These issues are resolved, they are in the past”, swept away coach Fernando Santos in a post-match press conference. On Monday, he explained that he had “not liked at all” the gesture of humor of his star player during his substitution in the 65th minute against South Korea in the group stage (2-1 defeat).

The important thing: the collective

The Portuguese star, who is most likely playing his last World Cup at 37, finally came into play in the 74th minute, finding his armband to the ovations of an audience who had been chanting his name for fifteen minutes.

But the score was already 5-1 and the five-time Ballon d’Or goal in the 84th minute was ruled out for an offside position. He will still have to wait to score in a World Cup knockout match.

Ramos’ hat-trick

When the cat is not there, the mice dance and Ramos, who had played in all and for all only 33 minutes in selection before this evening, including twenty minutes in a friendly, took the opportunity to reveal himself in broad daylight. “I never dreamed of an event like tonight, never thought of starting and scoring three goals in my first match, I just wanted to play”he confided then.

The center forward at Benfica Lisbon did much better than that: at 21, he entered the elite of hat-trick authors in a World Cup, alongside giants like Pelé, Gerd Müller or Just Fontaine. He is even the youngest author of a hat-trick in a knockout match since Pelé in 1958.



Football: the Swiss prosecutor’s office appeals the acquittal of Platini and Blatter

The Swiss public prosecutor is appealing the acquittal pronounced this summer by Michel Platini and the former president of Fifa, the Swiss Sepp Blatter, in a case of fraud, he indicated Thursday, October 20 in a communicated.

The public prosecutor sent a declaration of appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) and “requested the total annulment of the judgment of first instance”, explains the press release confirming information from the daily L’Equipe.

Acquittal delivered in July

After six years of investigation and two weeks of trial for fraud in Switzerland, the French football icon, 67, and Sepp Blatter, 86, were acquitted on July 8. They faced five years in prison and the prosecution had requested a year and eight months in prison suspended.

Both were appearing for having organized “ illegally, to the detriment of Fifa, a payment of two million Swiss francs”, approximately 1.8 million euros, “in favor of Michel Platini”.

Defense and prosecution agreed on one point: the triple Ballon d’Or advised Sepp Blatter well between 1998 and 2002, during the latter’s first term at the head of Fifa, and the two men signed a contract in 1999 agreeing to an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, entirely paid by Fifa. But, in January 2011, the former midfielder who has since become UEFA President asserted a claim of two million Swiss francs”qualified as “false invoice” by the prosecution.

A “gentlemen’s agreement”

The two men insisted on their side that they had from the start decided on an annual salary of one million Swiss francs, by a “gentlemen’s agreement” oral and without witnesses, without the finances of Fifa allowing immediate payment to Michel Platini.

French “Worth His Million”assured Sepp Blatter to the magistrates, before Michel Platini in turn described a negotiation so little formalized that he had not specified the motto: “Me for fun, I said: pesetas, liras, rubles, marks, it’s up to you”had told the legend of the Blues at the hearing.

The court finally found that the fraud was not “not established with a likelihood bordering on certainty”, believing that ” the doubt must benefit the defendants”.



Football: Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter acquitted in Switzerland

Michel Platini and the former president of the International Football Federation (Fifa), the Swiss Sepp Blatter, were acquitted on Friday July 8 in Switzerland in the fraud case which in 2015 shattered the Frenchman’s ambitions to access at the helm of world football.

The Federal Criminal Court of Bellinzona did not follow the requisitions of the prosecution, which had requested in mid-June respectively one year and eight months of suspended prison sentence, while the two former leaders proclaimed their innocence. The court ultimately found that the scam was not “not established with a likelihood bordering on certainty”thus applying the general principle of criminal law that “doubt must benefit the accused”.

For two weeks, the 67-year-old Frenchman and the 86-year-old Swiss had appeared to have “illegally obtained, to the detriment of Fifa, a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) (…) in favor of Michel Platini”. “A neutral court has finally found that no crime was committed in this case. My client is completely cleared and relieved”commented M.e Dominic Nellen, Michel Platini’s lawyer.

For his part, the ex-captain of the Blues rejoiced in a short press release to have “won a first match”while once again alluding to a political and judicial manipulation intended to remove him from power: “In this case, there are culprits who did not appear during this trial. Let them count on me, we will meet again”.

Michel Platini suspects in particular a hidden role of Gianni Infantino, his former right-hand man at UEFA elected in 2016 at the head of Fifa, and targeted since 2020 by a separate procedure for three secret meetings with the former head of the Swiss prosecution. .

An oral agreement without witness

Defense and prosecution agreed on one point: the triple Ballon d’Or advised Sepp Blatter well between 1998 and 2002, during the latter’s first term at the head of Fifa, and the two men signed a contract in 1999 agreeing to an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, entirely paid by Fifa.

But in January 2011, the former midfielder (who in the meantime became UEFA president between 2007 and 2015) “enforced a claim of 2 million Swiss francs”qualified as “false invoice” by the prosecution. The two men insist on their side that they had from the start decided on an annual salary of one million Swiss francs, by a “gentlemen’s agreement” orally and without witnesses, without the finances of Fifa allowing immediate payment to Michel Platini.



Euro 2021: before France-Switzerland, the Blues not yet really attack

Should we be worried about the relative ineffectiveness of the Blues in attack since the start of this European Championship? Didier Deschamps hardly likes looking in the rearview mirror, but he could still find reasons to be reassured. As a titled player in 1998, he knows that the Blues had hardly been dashing in the first round of the World Cup. And as a crowned coach in 2018, he remembers his offensive wisps going round in circles against Australia, Peru and Denmark. Until this historic eighth-final, ignited by the spark Mbappé, who had rocked a badly handled meeting.

The scenario of this Euro strangely resembles the first acts of the Russian World Cup, except that Act IV of this Monday, June 28 will be played in Bucharest against Switzerland, less feared than Argentina of 2018. Will see -We then finally the Blues score real attacking goals, without relying on two arbitration decisions of penalties, a goal against his camp of Mats Hummels and two magic paws of defensive back Paul Pogba to feed the scorers? This is the question posed by this round of 16 to which the coach and his team were careful not to provide any answers.

→ READ. Euro 2021: the Blues have earned their ticket to Switzerland

Interpreters graduated in Deschamps dialect know that the boss’s silences generally hide intense cogitations. Especially since the subliminal language of the video posted on Sunday morning, 27 on the Federation’s YouTube channel, is eloquent. We hear Didier Deschamps talk about everything except the offensive sector, while images parade behind him where we see him in training surrounding the shoulders of Kylian Mbappé, then talking with Kingsley Coman.

Presnel Kimpembe in support of his Parisian partner Kylian Mbappé

At the last press conference, Saturday June 26, it was the Parisian Presnel Kimpembe who was instructed by the coach to reassure his PSG teammate. “The competition is not over yet. Scoring isn’t going to be a problem for Kylian. He got himself some chances, he didn’t put them to the bottom but it will come ”, he predicted.

Why not believe it? A similar prediction by Antoine Griezmann a few days earlier about Karim Benzema has come true. In addition, the arguments advanced against the number 10 of the France team – his races would have suddenly become predictable, his dribbling would surprise less – do not go the distance. This potential Golden Ball, scarecrow of French and European defenses, has been one of the most scrutinized players in the world for three years. However, the game of the great players is constantly dissected, which does not make them so much less formidable.

Only one goal in nine matches in blue

Still, the statistics offered by UEFA do not lie. Kylian Mbappé did not score, but he also shot very little and received little offside whistle. He has not scored in 382 minutes in blue since his last achievement in the preparation match against Wales and has only found his way to the goal once in his last nine caps.

Will this change against the Swiss? The efficiency of a spark also depends on the content of the gas in which it occurs. The only Mbappé can not explode a defense on his own and his offensive partners were not so flamboyant. Beyond the empty passage of a single, it is therefore the entire device that raises questions. The attack with three flat attackers in the first game, no more than the one with the only Benzema in tip, have so far made a splash. There would be a question of a third solution, this time with Kingsley Coman as a runner-up attacker to reinforce Griezmann to feed the Benzema-Mbappé duo. Answer at 9 p.m. Monday.


Five blue players threatened with suspension

Five yellow cards have been distributed to players of the France team since the start of the Euro: Benjamin Pavard, Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe and Hugo Lloris. If they are warned against Switzerland, they will miss the possible quarter-final on Friday July 2. The yellow card counter is reset to zero at the end of the quarter-finals.

Switzerland never beyond the eighth. A great football nation until the 1950s, Switzerland then disappeared from the shelves for fifty years. For the past fifteen years, it has been present again and again, but has never passed the round of 16. Neither in the World Cup, nor during a Euro.



Euro 2021: the Blues have earned their ticket for Switzerland

There it’s finished. The group stage of this second Euro with 24 teams, concluded with the two high intensity matches of Group F – and two draws, France-Portugal (2-2), and Germany-Hungary (also 2-2) – a kept a lot of the promises. The eight weakest teams (Scotland, Finland, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey) will have to return home, experience made for the next time. Some would undoubtedly have deserved a better fate, like Scotland or the astonishing Hungary which held in check two of the world champions of the last decade, Germany and France.

The group F says “of death” has kept its promises

The first will therefore play in the temple of European football, at Wembley, England against an English eleven who impressed during his three group matches. Portugal, the last opponent of France in the so difficult Group F, finds itself in third place, with on its way in eighth of the Belgians who have impressed and are announced as possible winners. Finally, the French world champion inherits one of the easiest eighths, against Switzerland, a well-earned ransom for first place in the group.

As always in the big tournaments, the hardest part will start during the phase of the knockout matches, but the Blues have justified without shining by their status of first favorite. They are far from the three victories of Belgium, Italy or the Netherlands, which certainly evolved against less popular opponents. Never exceptional, sometimes confusing but always serious and diligent, they did not set anyone on fire, but kept the fire started in Russia three years ago.

Bad memories of the Euro 2016 final

All’s well that ends, therefore, for these Blues who will have trembled about sixty minutes out of the 270 they spent on the lawn in three games. And it was largely against the Portuguese, this intimate enemy beaten so often, sometimes victorious at the worst moment: of the last twelve games between France and Portugal, the French had indeed lost only once, in Stade de France, in the final of Euro 2016. This should not be forgotten, but it can be forgiven provided you do better next time, according to the formula. It’s done, at least from an accounting perspective.

Because nothing is ever easy with these Portuguese, never as sober and technical as when they have their backs to the wall. Cornered before kick-off after their correction against Germany (2-4), they were virtually eliminated after fifteen minutes of another match taking place much further west, at the Allianz Arena in Munich . Against all expectations, the Hungarians opened the scoring, triggering a thunderous rumble in the Budapest stadium, three quarters full of Hungarians (7,500 French people had made the trip).

It was then that the French boat experienced a good half hour of pitching. With defensive temperaments, the Portuguese have turned into twirling elves making the disoriented French circles dizzy. The French led well to a score, but that of the yellow cards (3-0), a sign of dismay and helplessness. For a good thirty minutes, we believed in the worst, which arrived in the form of a hazardous exit from Hugo Lloris punching the head of a Portuguese instead of the ball.

Karim Benzema and the tap theorem

Result, a yellow card (a red was possible) and a penalty transformed by the inevitable Cristiano Ronaldo. Deserved sanction, much more in any case than the same sentence imposed on the Portuguese for a dubious fault against Kylian Mbappé. Karim Benzema transformed the penalty and reopened his goal counter in blue, after a long period of scarcity.

The open tap theorem – a striker relaxed by his first goal often doubles the bet – then came true. From the start of the second period, the Madrilenian gave the advantage to the Blues on a cross shot. Here, the Benzema-goalscorer page finally turned in the right direction. From twists to twists in the two matches, the Portuguese were then virtually eliminated, then it was the turn of the Germans, and finally, this time definitely, that of the Hungarians. Sacred evening.

We knew them better inspired and authoritarian, but the French themselves no longer trembled much, even under the impact of a second penalty on a hand from Jules Koundé, the quasi-rookie of this team who does not yet seem able to debunk Benjamin Pavard from his pedestal. The Munich side, injured against Germany and disoriented against Hungary, should have regained his spirits Monday in the round of 16

Switzerland are strong opponents, but they have always done quite well for the French in competition. In the 2014 World Cup, Didier Deschamps’ men had passed them five goals, conceding only two. While waiting for this France-Portugal provided Cristiano Ronaldo, the opportunity to equal a new record, that of the number of goals scored in a national jersey (109). At 36, he still has the legs to go further.


The program for the round of 16 (June 26 – June 29)

June 26

6 p.m .: Wales – Denmark (Amsterdam).
9 p.m .: Italy – Austria, Wembley (London).

June 27

6 p.m .: Netherlands – Czech Republic (Budapest).
9 p.m .: Belgium – Portugal, (Seville).

June 28

6 p.m .: Croatia – Spain (Copenhagen).
9 p.m .: France – Switzerland (Bucharest).

June 29

6 p.m .: England – Germany, Wembley (London).
9 p.m .: Sweden – Ukraine, Hampden Park (Glasgow).



The Swiss at the sea foot of the Vendée Globe

“Like all Swiss, I am able to say where I was and what I was doing during Alinghi’s two America’s Cup victories.” For the uninitiated, let us specify that the event in question, the equivalent, according to Alan Roura, “A victory in the Football World Cup”, took place in 2003 and 2007. And that the Swiss boat twice beat a crew from New Zealand, a nation considered to be the best in the world in coastal racing.

“There are only the French to be surprised”

During the second triumph of“Alinghi”Alan Roura was 14 years old and lived in the West Indies on a boat with his parents. Which had decided to cast off the continental moorings after years of racing on Lake Geneva. “There is a strong tradition of sailing in Switzerland, it is a fact known for a long time and it is only the French people to be surprised by it”, laughs Bernard Stamm, two Vendée Globe on the clock, who has worn the colors of his country on all the seas of the world.

Installed in Brittany after having been a forester, Bernard Stamm first aroused the curiosity of the fishermen of Lesconil, a small port close to Guilvinec, by building with his own hands a monohull called “ Superbigou ”. “The guys weren’t surprised to see a Swiss knocking wood, but they were surprised to learn that you could navigate unnecessarily. For them, the sailing race was fun for rich kids ”, he recounts.

Bernard Stamm is Alan Roura’s mentor, to the point of bequeathing his boat to him in 2016 for a first round-the-world trip that the 23-year-old at the time had completed brilliantly, at an honest 12e place despite its aging frame. “For me, it was Superbigou or nothing, I was sure that this boat would bring me back to port”, tells the young navigator. He returned from his world tour with a certificate of seriousness, which changed the way others look at this big laid back boy.

The Swiss sailors

“It was hard to get a hello from the other skippers before the start. My young age and my nationality did not plead for me ”, he smiles. Mistake for the grumpy people who did not know the big book of the Round the World Tour, which almost always included Swiss candidates ready to race the oceans for weeks.

→ ANALYSIS. Six women in the Vendée Globe boat

There were even three in the 2000-2001 edition: Bernard Stamm, already, Dominique Wavre, another regular in the race, and Bernard Gallay. “We are good sailors used to racing between three buoys in complicated weather conditions because of the relief surrounding our lakes, continues Bernard Stamm. We also have a strong tradition of adventurers. Some like me flee the routine of regattas that are contested every weekend on our shores ”.

Geneva Regatta Center, Swiss Glénans

“When you add the technique of the regatta to the mental solidity, it necessarily gives good sailors”, sline the former Vendée Globe director Denis Horeau, who has sailed regularly on Lake Geneva since his retirement.

Alan Roura has been at the forefront of several races noted in recent times. He is the scout of a rising generation which largely stands the comparison with the best students of the French school. “Many come from the Geneva regatta center, which is a bit like Les Glénans or the Polytechnique de la Voile Suisse. They are very strong and we will see them tumble very soon in the next Vendée Globe ”, he predicts.

A Swiss duo made up of Simon Koster and Valentin Gautier missed by one step the podium of the very tough transatlantic Jacques Vabre in doubles in the fall of 2019. Justine Mettreaux, a young Genevoise, is carving out a nice CV at the within the professional race. With a seventh place in the Figaro solitaire, considered the most complex of sailing races.

All these Swiss with sea legs tell more or less the same story. Parents who are fans of sailing, the first family races, the first courses at the National Regatta Center, crew contracts on foreign boats. Then the registrations in the big offshore races, until the Vendée Globe, which counts for the moment only one elected Swiss. Before hosting a possible armada in 2024.