For a rustic that despatched its king and queen to the guillotine. France has a long lasting fascination for the monarchy. So it isn’t surprising that Saturday’s quarter-final between England and France is being observed as a royal duel between King Kylian and Prince Harry.
After Sunday’s suits set the scene for a fight between the 2 nations – ancient opponents off and on the pitch in spite of the Entente Cordiale – Eurosport carried an image of Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappé and declared: “The quarter-final on Saturday will have an unusual Flavour: for the first time in history the French team and the English team will cross swords in a direct elimination match.”
France Info headlined with France meeting its “highest enemy” and “Prince Harry” referring to Kane making the “French kingdom tremble”.
No reference to the Anglo-French rivalry is complete without a reference to “perfidious Albion” and France Info didn’t disappoint. “Between France and England, [football] history dates back more than a century to the first match on 1 November 1906 [which England won 15-0]it said.
“Since then, Perfidious Albion have won 23 of the 40 official duels, with 11 victories for the French and six draws. But 16 of these successes were achieved before the war … In the 21st century, Les Bleus have won four of the six encounters, with one defeat and one draw. And while this match has become a European classic, it will be the first time the two nations have faced each other in an international tournament’s decisive match.”
L’Équipe carried a photo of Mbappé with the headline: “God Save Notre [Our] King”. The French crown will have to were shared with Olivier Giroud, who become France’s main goalscorer after Sunday’s fit towards Poland when he recorded his 52nd and surpassed the 13-year-old nationwide report set through Thierry Henry.
The regional newspaper Sud-Ouest requested if Les Bleus have been”préts à manger du lion”, in a position to consume the Lions, whilst Le Figaro mentioned going through England may well be France’s first severe problem. “For those that idea that the French staff’s adventure thus far was once too simple, it’s conceivable that they’re going to exchange their minds subsequent Saturday, at the instance of a quarter-final between Les Bleus and England, which is as explosive as it’s sexy.
“The two groups have no longer confronted every different since 13 June 2017, when Didier Deschamps’ males were given the simpler of the Three Lions in a pleasant fit on the Stade de France. But in 5 years, numerous water has flowed below the bridges of the Seine and the Thames. Since the beginning of the contest, each groups have inspired … which means that each Les Bleus and the Three Lions may have various self assurance going into the quarter-finals.”
Many French commentators relayed remarks from across the Channel indicating admiration – some saw fear – of Mbappé. The football website maxifoot.fr said he was “already inflicting “deep concern” within the England camp.
England’s Phil Foden instructed TF1 that Mbappé is “the player of the tournament until now” and his teammate Jordan Henderson instructed Belgian newshounds he was once “probably the best player in the world right now, with Messi”. French newshounds relayed how Sky Sports had referred to “the Mbappé threat”.
King Mbappé, who has earned the French Football Federation a €10,000 fantastic from Fifa for refusing to talk to the clicking, broke his silence after Sunday’s victory to claim: “My sole intention is to win the World Cup … and the following fit. It’s the one factor I dream about.”
In the opposite realm, Prince Harry has the similar function.