Fans bring a slice of France to Pune ahead of Fifa finals
For students Mathieu Cheucle, 20, Lea Carillat, 19, and Manon Grosset, 20, studying at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Vimannagar, they are missing the liveliness and fun of being part of the whole country celebrating every goal.Updated: Jul 15, 2018 17:12 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
French football fans in Pune cannot believe their luck as their country now has a second chance at bringing the World Cup home. “It has been a long wait, almost 20 years, to see our team play the way they are playing now. It is a young team and they all seem determined,” said Cyril Nicolai, 33, chef at La Bouche d’Or, the only French Bakery in the city.
Though he has been in India for four years, he has lived in Pune for two years and finds living here very pleasing.
He is all set for the Fifa World Cup 2018 finals and plans to watch it along with his friends at home. “Food plays an important role while watching football. There are tense moments and you need some kind of snack to relax, hence back in France, we have special appetisers called Charcuterie which are special sausages and cheese platter along with some beers and wine,” said Cyril.
He has also made special macaroons in the colours of the French flag. “It is a double celebration for us on July 14 as we celebrate Bastille Day and July 15, is a crucial match for the country’s football team, as their victory will being celebrations.”
For students Mathieu Cheucle, 20, Lea Carillat, 19, and Manon Grosset, 20, studying at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Vimannagar, they are missing the liveliness and fun of being part of the whole country celebrating every goal. “Whenever Mbappe scores a goal, the entire city of Paris goes crazy and you can hear the cheer even from your window,” said Carillat, a resident of Paris. Her father is a diehard football fan and they share the match details and discuss it at length on social media.
“The place to be during a football match in Paris is Champs Elysees where there are thousands of fans enjoying the game,” said Cheucle. “Here in India, we watched the match together on a projector in our house and went out to High Spirits during the semi-finals.”
“It is a big thing for our country for we did not expect them to make it to the finals. It is one of the best surprises and to see the old generation watch it along with the new generation and cheer together as one country, forgetting all the issues in the country, is amazing,” said Grosset. She was emotional about the recent terrorist attacks and racism remarks which will be erased with the diverse team playing a fantastic final and bringing back the World Cup after 20 years. Carillat added, “The good part about France is its diverse culture and that it is open to migrants, thus adding to the ethnicity. If this team wins the World Cup, then the next generation will look up to Mbappe, Pogba and Kante as heroes, changing perceptions and playing a big part in putting aside differences. We are not culturally all white people, there has always been a mix of people adding to the cultural value of our country.”
“Right now every Frenchman is thinking that we will win, but then they remember what happened two years ago and are keeping calm. However, within their hearts, they all want France to win,” said Carillat.
First Published: Jul 15, 2018 17:11 IST