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Kylian Mbappé’s France, defending champion, faces England, fierce vice-champion of Europe, in the quarter-finals, Saturday at 8 p.m. with the hope of joining Croatia of Luka Modric and Argentina of Lionel Messi in the last four of the World Cup-2022. If this is the first time that the two neighbors have faced each other in a knockout match during a major competition, they have often offered good duels.
French and English have put their rivalry aside in their last two matches, relegated to the background after attacks, but they have also often fought beautiful duels. Saturday, December 10, for the first time in their history, it is for a place in the semi-finals of a World Cup that they compete. Back to the last meetings between the Three Lions and the Blues.
2017: Oasis, red card and youth card
On June 13, 2017, the two teams meet at the Stade de France for a friendly match. When the players arrive on the lawn, the musicians and the choir of the Republican Guard perform “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (“Do not look at the past with anger”), the hit of the group Oasis from Manchester, city hit two weeks earlier by an attack that killed 22 people and injured more than 100, including many children.
A white tifo with a red cross, the colors of the English flag, is deployed in one of the bends of the Stade de France, where the 80,000 spectators observe a minute of silence.
The Blues won 3-2 despite the expulsion of Raphaël Varane, at the start of the second period, and the double of Harry Kane. Salvation comes from two defenders, Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibé, and young Ousmane Dembélé (20), all scorers for the first time in the France team. At 18, Kylian Mbappé (4th selection) cannot open his counter, because of a recalcitrant crossbar, but he is decisive with the 3-2 pass for Dembélé.
2015: Wembley’s moving tribute
On November 17, 2015, France faces England for a friendly match on the lawn of Wembley, in London. The French lost 2-0 (goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney), a totally anecdotal result four days after the attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis, the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history.
The English change the pre-match protocol for the occasion and the host country’s anthem, “God Save The Queen”, is played first before letting the temple of English football take over the ” Marseillaise”, whose lyrics are displayed on giant screens. The two teams then mingle to loud applause for a minute of contemplation.
Euro-2004: Zidane reverses everything
On June 13, 2004, in the first round of the Euro, in Group B, the French, reigning world champions and European champions, were shaken up at the Luz stadium by the partners of Frank Lampard, scorer in the first period.
But two Blues are transformed into providential men: Fabien Barthez, by stopping a penalty from David Beckham, and especially Zinédine Zidane, who reverses the match with two goals in additional time, a free kick then a penalty. The match therefore ends with 2-1 for the Blues.
In the quarter-finals, England will be eliminated by Portugal, future finalists at home, and France by Greece, future European champions to everyone’s surprise.
1982 World Cup: the bad French memory
On June 16, 1982, in Bilbao, the French stumbled at the start of the Spanish “Mundial” against the Imperial English in the first round. The tricolor selection is however well armed around Patrick Battiston, Marius Trésor, Alain Giresse, Michel Platini and Dominique Rocheteau, among others. The Blues lose 3-1.
France still goes to the semi-finals, to play and lose a historic match, in Seville, against West Germany who qualified at the expense of Spain and England in the 2e round, in Group B.
1966 World Cup: England beat France
The team of Jean Djorkaeff and Robert Herbin is no match for the 98,000 spectators at Wembley and Roger Hunt’s double, fatal to the French, who are eliminated after this last group match. England win 2-0.
That year, England continued their triumphant march to the final, won at home against West Germany (FRG), their only trophy to date.