Football ⚽

Congrats Giroud and all the best Cavani!

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Today was a good day for Olivier Giroud! He played his 100th game for France becoming only the 8th player to do so for Les Bleus joining the likes of Hugo Lloris, Lilian Thuram, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, and current Les Bleus manager, Didier Deschamps. It was only a friendly against Ukraine in which Les Bleus won 7-1, but it was brilliant!

Welcome to the 100th club, Giroud.

Ollie is a World Cup winner and France’s second-highest goalscorer at 42 goals. Only Henry stands in his way with 51 goals. I’ll love to see Ollie beat that. Only today I was reading an interview about Ollie talking about his new book, ‘Always Believe It’ and he said something that stuck with me, so I’ll share that here: 

“I am a very religious person who asserts his Christian faith more and more in recent years. It allowed me to overcome trials, to put things into perspective and to always believe in my chances, in his destiny and in Jesus, who is there, at all times, to watch over me.” 

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And Edinson Cavani is a new-mint Manchester United player. I’m no fan of anything Man U, but all the best, Cavani… even though that red shirt is going to hurt mi eyes. Show the English why we call you ‘El Matador’! I’ll also leave something from Cavani’s interview that resonated with me:

“I believe that in life things come when they are meant to and sometimes, no matter how much you want something, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

The 33-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal on around £210,000 per week after tax

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Football ⚽

Welcome home, Bale!

Daniel Levy and Mourinho are thought to be driving factors in securing Bale's return

I can’t believe that it has been 7 years since Bale left Spurs for Real Madrid… a move I didn’t want him to make in the first place. Under Zidane’s management, Bale was mistreated in a disgraceful way – just as Lionel Messi under Bartomeu, but that’s another story – and it was disheartening to see.

But I’m happy to see Bale back at Spurs where I know (I hope) he’ll get the respect he deserves.

Welcome back, welcome home, Bale. Here, is where you belong, even if it’s just for a season-long loan. 

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Football ⚽

Merci, Cavani!

Lately, this is how I feel about everything…

¿Cómo será probar sus labios? - señor Jackson disculpe que lo moleste… #fanfic # Fanfic # amreading # books # wattpad

…including football, so that’s why I was the last to know that Edinson Cavani aka Bae left PSG never to return. 

🎶 Musique mélancolique 🎶

I’m currently writing this while listening to French music because nothing sets the mood like French music. Plus, it’s aesthetically satisfying to listen to while writing about French things in general even if I don’t speak fluent croissant.

Italian football was never my thing. I was content with just La Liga and supporting Les Bleus, but one day, I decided to expand my viewing range. I thought the EPL all right and soon enough I was supporting teams such as Wenger’s Arsenal, Man City, and Tottenham. It was time to give the Italian league Serie A, a chance. I went in not expecting anything grand… until I saw a SSC Napoli game… and then I saw this guy…

Edinson Cavani - Edinson Cavani Photos - SSC Napoli v AC Siena ...

…so I stayed and adapted Napoli as my favorite Serie A team until July 16th, 2013, when Edi joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain. He brought joy to many French fans that noted his drive, enthusiasm, commitment, passion, and humility. He also brought his strong headband game.

End of an Era: Cavani, Silva, and Others Expected to Leave PSG ...

Cavani was PSG’s number 9 and overtime, the fans formed a bond with the player like no other. Almost every match day at the Parc des Princes, supporters chanted:

E-din-son Cavani, lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo.”

It was special. The appreciation was beautiful for PSG supporters can be cold, and they rarely sing songs for an individual, instead opting to serenade the club or the city. Even as a spectator in front of my TV, oceans and miles away from Paris, I felt as if I was right there in the stands chanting along. Even if Edi was only on the bench as a sub or not playing at all, they’ll be singing his song.

Outside the Parc des Princes, Cavani went above and beyond to integrate himself into French culture and it was gratefully received by the locals. Whenever Cavani got the opportunity to return home to Salto, Uruguay, he’ll be seen working the family farm even on his vacation.

Don't miss Cavani mowing herbs - JuniperSports

Merci!

Finally, coming to the point that warranted this post in the first place: Cavani didn’t get his goodbye applause from the stadium he called home for the last 7 years due to not extending his contract until this August. He deserved a fitting send-off, but he quietly left the club as PSG’s all-time top goal scorer (200 goals in 301 games) and 19 trophies to his name. I think it’s criminal that PSG is in the Champions League final and Cavani’s name won’t be on the roster.

Two of my all-time favorite moments I’ll always treasure of Cavani in a PSG jersey comes in the form of his character and not goals. The first was when he gave his jersey to a disabled supporter…

…and the second was quite recent. In March, PSG beat Borussia Dortmund and when many of PSG’s boys were mocking Erling Haaland’s goal celebration, Cavani manned up and stayed away from such childish tactics.

Merci beaucoup for the goals, and fond memories, El Matador! There’ll never be another you and here’s to Benfica or wherever you may end up, even if it’s a team I dislike in the EPL.

Pin su UEFA Champions League & Europa League

Related: They Call Him Edinson I Call Him Bae

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Books & Reviews 📚

꧁ TBR Book Tag ꧂

Madame Writer always discovers the best book tags around and although I’m not as invested in books as I used to be, I couldn’t let the TBR Book Tag pass me by! Let’s do… wait, let me grab a coffee first… okay, let’s do this!

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How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I actually don’t. I used to keep a notebook, now, I read whenever the impulse to do so kicks in and when I do, I choose a book at random.

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Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

The printed format suits me better as I’ll devour it faster than an E-book!

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How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Refer to Q. 1.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest

This book:

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And this one:

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There are others that have been in my TBR even longer, but every time I look at the bookshelf, I keep wondering why I haven’t read those books as yet. The first one was a gift; the second one I bought when I was going through my lawyer phase.

Hopefully, I’ll get to them sooner rather than later.

A book recently added to your TBR

Alex is some kind of wonderful, intelligent mathematical sciencey genius who makes cooking look easy. I used to watch his YouTube channel (Alex French Guy Cooking), so when I saw his book, I had to get it.

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I love how he experiments with food and cooking methods. I love it when he goes in-depth into a technique as he demystifies (or complicate) cooking. He made me appreciate food chemistry. The best part of his cooking journey? He was self-taught. 😄

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

Beautiful? What even is that?

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Okay, you caught me. I bought like 4 books because of their pretty shiny covers, but to keep them strictly in my TBR? A no-no. I already read them and passed them on to new owners. 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books I don’t ever plan on reading recently, so I guess it’s safe to say that I plan to read what’s left of my TBR.

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An Unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

I am not excited about books anymore for they end up being disappointments as authors are forgetting how to author and expectations end up shattering like a favorite tea or coffee cup.

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However, I’ll like to get my hands on a copy of Antoine Griezmann’s freshly printed manga Goal

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

A few years ago, I got this really awesome book “The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris” on sale at my favorite bookstore. One year later after the purchase, it starts trending everywhere even on Twitter! And I was like, “I’ve got that book and I’ll read it soon!” It still sits on my bookshelf to this day sadly wasting away.

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A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you

I don’t recommend books anymore – unless it’s the Bible – so I don’t take recommendations from anyone for every time someone recommends a book to me, I end up disliking it greatly… I don’t know why. However, there is one book that people kept recommending to me because I used to read voraciously and that is “Evening Class” by Maeve Binchy. I have no idea what it’s about for I want it to be a surprise read.

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A book on your TBR you’re dying to read

Did Lestat ask this question? The brat!

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How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

I don’t do Goodreads. I live my TBR life through the bookshelf in my room and I refuse to count how many books left to read – over 300 I guess – but I’ll inform you when I get to 20.

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If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The TBR Book Tag

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Football ⚽

Ladies and gentlemen, Antoine Griezmann! 🇫🇷 🇫🇷

Antoine Griezmann scored twice and also assisted in a 5-2 victory over Betis to give Barcelona their first 3 points of the season. After the brace (second goal), Griezmann known for his unique celebrations, threw blue and red confetti in the air to celebrate as if to say, “I’VE ARRIVED!” 

Greizzy played a great game without our front backing for they’re currently injured.

Barcelona lost their first game of the season away to Bilbao 0-1, but I am pleased with today’s result regardless of sitting at #9 currently. We have a long season ahead of us!

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

꧁30 interesting questions challenge ꧂

I love fun challenges and when I read the 30 interesting questions challenge over on Stories of Hope blog, I just had to participate. This post was supposed to have been done since last month, but I am always late to the party.

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Let’s do this!

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

Well, almost everyone calls me Dee and I have no problem with that at all.

2. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I don’t doodle much as before, but does this…

…count? It’s the last thing I did sometime back in November or so. 

3. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I recite Psalm 91 and pray. Another great one is Psalm 4.

4. Do people consider you as talkative or quiet?

I am both talkative (especially if we’re talking about God, the Bible, travels, etc.) and quiet.

5. What makes you cry?

When people accept/return to God acknowledging Him as their EVERYTHING. And humanity…

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

When the Lord’s name is taken in vain. I also dislike it when people listen to music via their headset really loud. Like, what’s the use of having a headset if other people are going to be hearing your music?

7. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

I normally look in the mirror when I’m leaving the house.

8. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That people entered inside the television set from behind to be on TV. 😆

9. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Guilty pleasure? What is that? Here I quote the great Matthew Gray Gubler: “Don’t feel guilty if you like something.”

10. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

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11. How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

I don’t read the newspapers, but I do read news online once or twice a week.

12. Which animal scares you the most? 

This question is very subjective so I’ll give a pragmatic answer: diseased animals.

13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

I run away from conflicts. 

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14. What was the most recent compliment you received?

It was from my sister in Christ, Leiya. She said that she enjoys watching me grow in Christ. 💙

15. What question are you tired of hearing?

Do you watch Game of Thrones? No. Just no.

Is Annie okay? Of course, she is! She was a CPR mannequin for Smooth Criminal’s sake! She saved millions of lives!

Why do you like Tom Cruise? You, do you.

Why do you support France and not Spain? Last time I checked, Messi wasn’t Spanish and it was Les Bleus who got me into football, not FC Barcelona or Argentina for that matter.  

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16. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

I’m not an adventurous eater so I have to go with pepperoni. 👎

17. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?

Close friends that I cherish and love.

18. Do you have a catchphrase?

None I can think of at the moment so I guess I don’t have one.

19. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?

San Fernando! It’s the most beautiful place in the south and it should’ve been the capital of Trinidad. The people there are very different than the town people and they don’t have time to mind your business. And the hill’s got a panoramic view!

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20. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I love the name my parents gave me so I don’t see the need for changing it.

21. When was the last time you lied?

Let’s see…

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22. What’s something that amazes you?

Simply God. Especially the way He answers prayers! 

23. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

The inventor for I wouldn’t be able to explore another planet anyway given the firmament God put in place.

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24. What is your favorite amateur activity?

Reading and also walking to clear my mind while communicating with God.

25. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

Another day? Thank You, God! 💙

26. What is your favorite song (at least for the moment)?

“All I Want” by Michael W. Smith.

27. List someone you know, and describe them in 5 words.

Lee is caring, eager, driven, focus, and learning.

28. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

Oh my! So many people! Here are a few:

Albert Einstein: Why can’t you take the time to fix your hair? And why would a grown man be sticking his tongue out of his mouth?

King Solomon: How did you ever make time to communicate with your 700 wives one on one?

King Louis XIV: You were four-years-old when you ascended the throne and you became the longest reigning monarch in Europe. How did your longevity affect your reign?

Napoleon Bonaparte: Why in the world did you continue to trust Talleyrand even after you found out that he was not trustworthy? 

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29. Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

It’s been often said that I look like…

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…God! I was created in His image after all. I wouldn’t even give my left foot to look like any of these basic celebrities out here.

30. What do you want me to know?

Jesus is coming again. Are you ready?

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This fun challenge is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Thank you to Stories of Hope for allowing me to join in the fun. See her post here:

30 Interesting Questions Challenge

***GIFs and images via Google Search

Blog Related

Ghost comments!👻

Déjà vu! That’s what it is. Déjà vu, I tell you. 

Oh, hi guys. 

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I just have a few things that I need to get off my chest, so please bear with me a little.

Ghost Comments👻

WordPress is back at it again. For the past few days, I’ve been leaving comments on some blogs only to see it disappear. Please check your spam folders for comments from bloggers for they’re most likely to appear there. I don’t think WordPress is likely to solve this problem permanently.

Slow Reading 🐌

Since I’ve returned from my hiatus last month, I’m spending less time on WordPress for time is limited. The result is slow-reading of your blogs, but I do try to make use of the time whenever I log in, so I mostly read blogs from the Reader or whenever I’m replying to comments I’ll pop in at your blog. I hope to rectify this soon.

Still under construction 🚧

Despite changing the fonts (which I love!) and the banner, I’m still searching for a theme. The Penscratch 2 theme is the one I may eventually go with whenever I decide it’s time to change this theme. I also like the Eventbrite Single Event theme. Also, I’m reworking the ‘Bonjour’ page. So many changes to go; all in God’s timing.

And congrats Spurs!Related image

This has got to be the most romantic season of Champions League and Europa League for the English! Well, where my team Tottenham Hotspur is involved. Hugo Lloris captained France to World Cup victory last year and now he has captained Spurs to a CL final against Liverpool. If they win, Lloris for Ballon d’Or! Ah, just joking, for they already made a grave mistake with the last Ballon d’Or winner.

As for Europa League, Arsenal all the way! My sister is rooting for Spurs and Chelsea for since at the beginning of the season, she said those two teams will reach their respective final and she was right. 

Scenes from Wednesday evening after Spurs won against Ajax to go to the final:

Lucas Moura’s hat trick sent Spurs to the final plus a wonderful save from Lloris in extra time.

Joie!

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris raises both his hands into the air to the delight of Tottenham's fans

*** Images via Google Search

Espresso Shots ☕

2018: a little look back 👀

It’s okay to look back at the past. Just don’t stare.

Benjamin Dover

Looking back at 2018 like…

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It went by in a whoosh, but it was a wonderful year for me despite some of the trials. If I had to sum up 2018 in one word, it will be “peace”.  

Peace came to me

I didn’t go looking for peace last year, but it was what I actually needed in my life and God granted it to me in many ways. This is something I’ve been open about last year on this platform. What does peace means to me? It means that I’m fully content and fulfilled. It means I feel light for my burdens I’ve laid at His feet. It means that despite what I’m going through or what I may go through, I have a God willing to fight for me. 

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Growing spiritually

This is a continuous cycle. I don’t have everything under control; that’s what I have God for. He’s the reason I wake up on mornings to face each day. Without His strength, I am nothing. There are multiple times when I fall short of His glory, but I go to Him and pour out my heart in prayer. Reading/studying/discovering His Word has left a great impression on me. There’ll be hard times for God never said the Christian life is all about comfort and laziness, but it’s through these moments, we learn that God is with us no matter what we face and it’s also when we become strong/er. He is our light in dark times.

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Most spectacular moment

Les Bleus lifting the World Cup of course! In 2014, I wrote a fictional Les Bleus story based on the Euro then, which we lost, but I did say that we were going to win the World Cup in 2018 at the end of that story and it gave solace to a Parisian football fan who was actually following the story. It took 4 years of waiting and one patient final, but it was worth it. It was lovely seeing France lift another cup after 20 years. 

Euro 2020 come on!

Learning Languages

Well, it’s no secret that I love the French language. I also love a few other languages including Italian, Japanese, and Greek. Last year, I set out to learn those languages, but my mind was not entirely focused and I was not making the time to learn anything foreign. At the moment, I am not bothered anymore in becoming fluent in another tongue. I’ll still learn here and there as I love learning how to say certain words and phrases in another language, but that’s about it.

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On Writing

I’ve experienced the highs and the lows of writing. It once consumed my life. Last year, I saw a dip in my writing and I lost interest up to a certain point. Every time I tried to explain to someone the new direction my writing is going in, they failed to understand. They couldn’t comprehend why I don’t want to work on a novel of sorts to gain a profit. I only write when I’m inspired to especially when I’m led to write for God in all things for His glory. Yes, God has given me the gift of writing although I’m not a wordsmith and I don’t want to waste it writing books for profit. I’ll be going in depth on this topic later on.

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Merci!

In short, despite the ups and downs, 2018 has been a blessing for me and I thank God tremendously. I also want to thank each and every one of you who have read, liked, followed, and shared your thoughts! I pray that 2019 would be/is a blessing and that you put Jesus in the center of everything. We have been given 12 new chapters and 365 chances to make 2019 memorable so take every opportunity to do just that. 

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***GIFs via Google 

Entertainment

Les Bleus: thank you for the memories!

Mes Amis, this is my final post on the World Cup tournament. 😃

We came to the end of a wonderful World Cup tournament two weeks ago and I already have wonderful long lasting memories. I just want to look back on a few moments. 

THE SUPPORTERS

The fans were incredible from the very beginning. They soaked in the atmosphere of the game and enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t hear of any hooligan reports which was good. Some French fans said the locals were very accommodating and allowed them to couch surf. 

DIDIER DESCHAMPS

Deschamps implemented discipline and a sense of togetherness in this young team. He even showed Jose Mourinho how to get the best out of Paul Pogba. 😉 One of my favorite moment is when some of the players gatecrashed his post-conference, chanting his name. It shows that the players have a special bond with him regardless of what the media thinks.

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LES BLEUS

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The various backgrounds blending together really enriched the squad.

They didn’t start well, but they grew during the tournament. When I look back at their victory against Croatia, I’ll always remember Les Bleus standing in the pouring rain, golden confetti stuck to their skin and sparkling in their hair, as they hoist the trophy over their heads. They deserved this victory. They and their people.

THE EMIR PRINCE OF QATAR SHEIKH TAMIM

The French media praised him for offering his front-row seat to the French First Lady Brigitte Macron. Little things that the media don’t talk about, but I want to highlight it anyway. 

THE FRENCH & CROATIAN PRESIDENTS

Emmanuel Macron was such a delight! After his team won the WC, his animated display made one of the best highlight and iconic photo when he lept to his feet and punch the air. Credit goes to Alexei Nikolsky for this superb capture!

Golden Glove - Thibout Courtios

His celebration with the team in the locker room – notably with Mendy and Pogba who got him to dab – made headlines.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: French President Emmanuel Macron dabs with Paul Pogba during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Monsieur Président so chill, eh?

What’s the purpose of the dab anyway and didn’t that fad fade away? Anyway, I loved watching Macron and the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović embracing the players in the pouring rain. One can see the genuine warmth and affection they had for the players.

French President Emmanuel Macron awards Kylian Mbappe of France with the FIFA Young Player Award as President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic look on following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Putin is smugly standing under his umbrella watching the other two presidents get wet. What poor protocol! They are guests in Moscow and one of them is a woman. Macron took time to visit the Croatian players and the madam did the same for the French players.

However, people can’t get over that the Monsieur and the Madam were too close during the game. Someone even asked if she was his wife. 

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No, this is his wife:

Patriotic: Macron donned a navy suit and tie as well as a red, white, and blue rubber bracelet that matches France's tricolor flag

 Lloris looks at the pair with such fondness! 

I’m thankful for the French memories.

TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE

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Kudos to you, Russia, for organizing an unforgettable tournament! It’s the best World Cup I’ve had the pleasure of viewing since 1998 and I can only say, merci beaucoup.

VIVE LA FRANCE!

***Photos and GIFs via Google Search save the last GIF which was my attempt at creating my first GIF. 😄 It didn’t work out how I planned it, but that’s what practice is for. 

Football ⚽

N’Golo Kanté: unsung hero of the World Cup

The engine of France and a beautiful soul.

The first time I saw N’golo, he was creating havoc in the midfield at Leicester City in 2015. The other time I took notice of him, he was individually greeting the staff of Clairefontaine with a big smile on his face. That was 2016 when he was called up for Les Bleus. Over time, I’ve come to realize that he is extremely polite, quiet, humble and he smiles a lot. He’s probably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. This, I can guarantee. He lives a simple life and doesn’t have a drop of arrogance. The man is worth millions and he still drives to work with a second-hand Mini Cooper.

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During France’s amazing run in the 2018 World Cup, many were in awe of Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Kylian Mbappé and rightly so, but one man was not getting the credit he deserved – well, 3 inclusive of Hugo Lloris and Olivier Giroud, but this is not about them – and that is N’Golo Kanté. At only 5’6″ he is the anchor of the French midfield and made Pogba look good. He covers a lot of ground and he reads the game brilliantly. 

Kanté did not have the best match in the World Cup final and had to be subbed off in the second half. Afterward, we learned that he played with a stomach bug.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

Coach Didier Deschamps summed up our shy midfielder best:

“N’Golo is a real ray of sunshine, a true joy. When he came off, I asked him if he was OK. His quiet reply was: ‘No, no, do not worry – I am fine, coach.’ Everybody loves N’Golo – he is a little phenomenon.”

Kante (left) shakes hands with a member of plane staff as fellow France midfielder Corentin Tolisso (right) watches on

And his teammates simply love him! His French mates sung his heroics after they won the World Cup. Here’s how it went down:

🎶N’Golo Kanté. Phalalalala
Il est petit
Il est gentil
Il a stoppé Leo Messi
Mais on sait tous
C’est un tricheur
N’golo Kante

“He is short, he is nice, he stopped Leo Messi, but we all know he’s a cheater (at cards).” Haha! Right, as if he’ll ever cheat at cards! But the chant was not meant to be taken seriously and Kanté was almost embarrassed by the praises his teammates showered upon him. He was like, “No, we stopped him (Messi) together!” 😃They even changed the lyrics to welcome him to the Champs-Élysées. 

During World Cup celebrations on the pitch with the trophy, Kanté was so shy to ask for the trophy himself so he can pose for a photo in the heavy pouring rain with it, that Steven Nzonzi had to take the trophy after Florian Thauvin posed with it and hand it to Kanté. This epic photo is the result:

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This man works hard and shuns the nightlife. In 3 years, he has won 2 EPL titles (with Leicester and Chelsea), an FA Cup (with Chelsea) and a World Cup (with France). He was also the EPL Player of the Year in 2017. A humble, polite, and hard worker who is not interested in selling his image and flaunting his wealth? Many other footballers need to get on his level. I hope I won’t have to take my words back in the future! 😉

MERCI KANTÉ AND NEVER STOP SMILING. 😄😄