A public spat is brewing between Kylian Mbappe and Oliver Giroud ahead of Euro 2020
Theoretically, throwing Karim Benzema into the French squad for the 2020 European Championships is a no-brainer in terms of guaranteed glory. France would then be able to line up with the Real Madrid man leading the line alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.
However, it looks like the traditionally fragile ego-driven eco-system of the French national soccer team has been broken again. Whether it will be in the same manner as the calamitous 2010 World Cup in South Africa remains to be seen, but seeds are being sown. And Oliver Giroud is the farmer scattering them onto fertile ground.
The quick version of the story - Karim Benzema had been exiled from the French national team due to a scandal involving the sex-tape blackmail scandal of a then teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Could happen to anyone.
While Benzema was being excluded, the eternally unfashionable but highly effective Olivier Giroud scored the big goals while the Real Madrid man unhelpfully made a scathing comparison between himself and Giroud - "you don't confuse Formula 1 with go-karting. And I’m being kind." That clearly has been playing on Giroud's mind ever since.
Benzema is then recalled a few weeks ago by Didier Deschamps ostensibly taking Giroud's starting role for France. Giroud then complains after a recent friendly against Bulgaria that he is a second-class citizen on the pitch. "Sometimes, I make runs and the balls aren’t forthcoming," huffed the Chelsea forward in a game where he scored twice after coming on as a substitute.
Mbappe reportedly feels that this was a direct dig at himself with the French media saying that the PSG forward was itching to call a press conference to respond to Giroud's supposed sleights. Deschamps now has just a few days to repair the relationship between Mbappe and Giroud - and the Formula One Benzema - before the team's first match against Germany on Tuesday.
No such problems in the camp for France's women's soccer team who are also playing Germany today in a match that you can see for free on beIN XTRA at 2:55PM ET / 11:55AM PT.
Messi set for spell in Miami
A little more light has been thrown onto the the present, future and way-in-the-distant future of Lionel Messi. And it could be Miami...Nice! for Messi.
One of the co-owners of Inter Miami, Jorge Mas, told the Miami Herald that his people have been speaking to Messi's people over a plan for Messi. In quite the boost for his club that has only been playing for just over a season, Mas claims that "I am optimistic Messi will play in an Inter Miami shirt because I think it will complete the legacy of the greatest player in our generation."
The masterplan has Messi staying with Barcelona for two more years, then playing with Inter Miami for two more, before returning to Barcelona in some kind of front office role due to his love of chatting to the media and anything related to publicity.
That leaves Inter Miami's bosses two years to shift Gonzalo Higuain out of the club, the forward whose misfiring ostensibly cost Messi a World Cup and a Copa America.
French Open fans in bedtime rebellion
Back to France now for the final story and a tale of 5,000 people refusing to go to bed. It happened at the French Open where an 11PM COVID-19 curfew in the country and late-night sessions have clashed. This happened on Wednesday night with Novak Djokovic taking on Matteo Berrettini in a tense men's quarterfinal match.
The clock ticked towards 11PM, but much of the boisterous, booing crowd refused to leave and did not do so until the two players returned to the locker rooms to wait for 15 minutes until the stadium had emptied. Djokovic then proceeded to defeat his opponent in front of 15,000 empty seats to set up a semifinal with Rafa Nadal that had better be over before 11PM or another sit-in could be taking place.