Hey thanks to the bright Oranje, I no longer feel the Bleus
The festival of European football, Euro 2012 kicks off tonight and there is one question that I’m already tired of reading on twitter; who’s your money on? My reply to the question is always the same “Team Oranje.” However, it wasn’t always that way. I have always been a France supporter and I have several Les Bleus jerseys to prove it. But logical influence from one Mike Njiru has made me into one of those fans who I don’t like; who change teams depending on current form. I was a France supporter from around 1996 when the French National team looked a lot like Arsenal.
When Les Bleus won the World Cup in 1998 and went on to win Euro 2000, my support was solidified. When I was at the Germany World Cup in 2006, I watched France draw 1-1 with South Korea in the group stages in a pub with an English fan who kept rubbishing the French. With my support waning I told the guy, whose name I can’t remember, that France would still do well in the tournament. It didn’t appear so with that draw but Les Bleus went on to lose unfairly in the final following the Zinedine Zidane head-butt on the chest of a certain Italian centre back called Marco Materazzi.
My support remained strong. Euro 2008 was a whole new ball game for France with Raymond Domenech’s side going on to lose two group games and draw one to finish bottom of their group. Ironically the Netherlands finished top of that group but at the time I didn’t know that my new love affair would turn “orange” from “blue.” I stuck with France as the strange coach with white hair and dark brows made a mockery of football at the World Cup in South Africa. The France FA were jokers to begin with by sacking Domenech before the tournament but allowing him to work until it was over. Who does that?
You all know what happened in SA with Nicolas Anelka being sent home prematurely and the team not only refusing to train but failing to win a single match. It was at my moment of greatest weakness that Mike Njiru struck with all his logic about how great the Oranje team was. I was sold! So when you see a line-up with the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie, Nigel De Jong, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Rafael Van der Vaart, Mark Van Bommel, Wesley Sneider, Ibrahim Afellay, Khalid Boulahrouz Johnny Heitinga, and the list goes on; your heart has got to stop and take notice. Mine did then and still does.
The Netherlands are the best team to never have won a World Cup. I’m hoping that the rumours about members of the Spain squad squabbling are true; that Real Madrid and Barcelona players aren’t getting along and that the tension in the camp will affect their game. Spain, as World number one and defending champions of both the Euros and The World Cup, are obvious favourites, but The Netherlands along with Germany and perhaps my ex-France, are serious contenders. Heaven forbid France wins this, I’ll plead temporary insanity and defect again.
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