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

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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Books & Reviews 📚

Books #132-#134: Bonjour Luc Moncrief 😍

Meet dashing French Detective Luc Moncrief:

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Now, let’s see how he rates.

You know that question book lovers always seem to get asked: Who is your book boyfriend? Well, I can finally answer that age-old book question: his name is Moncrief. Luc Moncrief. He is debonair, has impeccable instincts, a gentleman, witty, the King of one-liners, and he handles tragedy well. He’s French. So very French, that I would’ve forgiven him had his introduction went like this…

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I was not even going to pick up another Bookshot for I don’t think they’re the best thing since vanilla shakes, but I spied a French detective as the protagonist and being the good Francophile that I am, I picked it up and I’m glad I did. Okay, enough chit-chat. Meet Luc.

Book #132: French Kiss (Detective Luc Moncrief #1)

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Luc Moncrief. Mercy! Luc is rich. Like, stinking rich and he puts to test my argument that wealthy characters aren’t boring (if used right, of course). His father is not pleased that he has chosen to become a detective. Anyway, Luc is on loan to the NYPD from Paris. In the French capital, he’s renown for uncovering major drug crimes and chasing down murderers, but in the Big Apple, he’s given clean-up work. But when his partner Maria is killed while working undercover, he is tasked with solving the murder and he gets a new partner Katherine Burke, whom he dubs ‘K. Burke’

Luc receives some more ugly news when his girlfriend and the love of his life Dalia is killed (I LOVE how Luc loves Dalia, but since she’s hardly mentioned, I didn’t care much for her). It’s personal, Luc realizes, and he returns to Paris with K. Burke to get to the bottom of the crimes.

Luc is your stereotypical (and then somewhat not) handsome rugged fashionable French male… with flaws. Lots of flaws. He solves crimes differently (goes with pure instinct) and food is always on his mind. He reminds me of my character Marcus a lot especially for their mutual dislike for the color pink (If Tammy reads this, she can confirm it). But there are some heartbreaking moments involved. When his girlfriend was killed, we get to see his human side and it was moving. 

I devoured this book in one sitting and begged, ‘Please, can I have some more’ so of course, it’s only natural that it gets lots of coffee. love coffeelove coffeelove coffeelove coffeelove coffee Luc is so likable it’s criminal!

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Book #133: The Christmas Mystery (Detective Luc Moncrief #2)

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Luc is still heartbroken over the death of his girlfriend, but he loves being a detective so he has work to do. In this one, he and K. Burke are called in to investigate when two priceless paintings disappear from a murder scene. Of course, Luc realizes that some paintings are forgeries and sets out to find the culprit behind it. 

He ends up spending Thanksgiving with K. Burke toasting to the new friendship. I love that Luc doesn’t change who he is for anyone and how he owns his Frenchness: I am so obviously French that I might as well have a statue of the Eiffel Tower on my head (page 28).

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And I also love that he doesn’t care about money despite being a Billionaire: “..a great big pot full of money does not make a person happy…” (page 114). He teaches K. Burke that, “The French never fill themselves. They eat. They think. They enjoy.” (page 132).

I feel as if there is something developing slowly but surely between Luc and Katherine, but there’s no rushing to unload feelings on their part. For now, they enjoy the friendship for Luc is in no way ready for a new interest. 

This installment gets love coffeelove coffeelove coffeelove coffee

Book #134: French Twist (Detective Luc Moncrief #3)

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Alas! I’ve come to the end of this lovely trilogy. 😢😢Healthy rich women are suddenly dropping dead where they stand. Luc and K. Burke have to figure out what these bimbos have in common and prevent future deaths. Meanwhile, across the country, Luc’s friends received a threatening note after their horse Gaston won the Kentucky Derby. Luc makes it his business to figure out who is threatening his elderly friends.

A few gripes: In The Christmas Mystery Luc gifts K. Burke a ring, but it becomes a necklace at the beginning of this book. On page 101, Luc sets an appointment at 5 for K. Burke, but the next day, she arrives at 4. I thought the hour discrepancy would’ve been explained, but the editing didn’t mention anything. 

I love the fact that Luc did not jump into a relationship or bed for that matter with another woman after Dalia’s death. It was refreshing to see him care deeply for one lady and not having mistresses on the side as other writers tend to portray French Cassanovas to be.

Luc Moncrief is a loveable riot in flashy designer clothes and a fast car and very French minus the smoking and although I have enough French characters in my arsenal, I wished I had written him. He is the perfect amount of everything. Luc deserves a full-length novel.

Final rating: love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

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But wait, it doesn’t stop there!

I read that ABC bought the rights to this series and they’re calling it The French Detective. France’s finest Jean Dujardin is said to be attached to the project. He’ll be portraying Luc Moncrief. 

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His Frenchness is riveting, but I don’t see Moncrief. Should’ve gotten France’s other finest Stanley Weber.

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Bonjour Luc! 

And if they want to go for tall, dark, and brooding, Gilles Marini can get the job done.

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Because let’s face it, they won’t be able to get Olivier Giroud to portray Luc.

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***Photos and GIFs via Google Images

Football ⚽

Rain pours down on France as they celebrate World Cup title. 🏆

The tournament is over, but I’ll be wrapping up WC blogs this week.

July 15th, 2018 is a day that I'll always remember 

July 15th, 2018. 

Another unforgettable experience in my book. France won the World Cup for the second time and it was also my bestie’s birthday. 💙

France faced Croatia in the final of the World Cup and won 4-2 in what was an entertaining final. Les Bleus took the lead on 18 minutes when Mario Mandžukić scored an own goal from an Antoine Greizmann freekick. I dislike his Fortnight celebration, though. 

     

Croatia equalized in the 28′ from a wicked left-footed finish via Ivan Perišić and it was game on for both sides!

     

In the 36′ France was awarded a penalty after the use of VAR decided that Perišić handled the ball. After what seemed like ages, Griezmann converted from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.

     

In the 59′ Paul Pogba missed with his right foot, but he made no mistake with the left curling home a great effort that extended France’s lead.

Six minutes later, Kylian Mbappé joins the party with a wicked strike to put the French in the driving seat.

There were no more goals to come from the French, but Hugo Lloris made a disastrous error in the 69′ which saw Mandžukić pull one back for Croatia. 

     

Other than that, Lloris had a great game. 

France did not lose a game in this tournament and they performed well to the very end. Croatia also had the tournament of their lives. There were some fans whining about possession, but here’s a news flash: modern football is not about statistics and it certainly does not care about possession for possession does not win games. You have to be decisive in front of goal and the French were just that. 

And nature came out to celebrate victory with the French after winning their second WC after 20 years. 

     

France Achievements:

1998: World Cup champions

2000: Euro champions

2006: World Cup finalists

2016: Euro finalists

2018: World Cup champions

Vive la France et vive la République!

  

Entertainment

C’est Magnifique! 🇫🇷

Umtiti scored the only goal – a great header in the 51′ – to beat Belgium and put France in the final since 2006 last evening. This is their second final in two years (2016, they reached the Euro final only to lose to Portugal) and this is their now or never moment. France did not reach the final because of one man, it was a team effort.

Belgium vs. France: Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Belgium was lucky that France had poor finishing in this match for they could’ve had 3 goals more at the final whistle. We were effective on the offense as well in defense. They dominated the match with less possession in the second half and did not allow Belgium to create any chances. But Belgium should hold their heads up and be happy for they played a great game so hats off to them.

Les Bleus, it’s been quite a journey and you’ve proved many doubters wrong over and over again. The final is the last stop so let’s make it count.

Allez les bleus!

     

Tous ensemble vers la finale!

Football ⚽

Giroud, the heart stealer; Lloris, the quiet leader

Two Frenchmen; one post. Why not? 😄

  

Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris are the best of friends and they’re my boys! 

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I’ve followed their careers since they played in France and before the English league cashed in on them. Although I still can’t stand to see Ollie in that Chelsea uniform…

I can just hear the Chelsea fans now: Roses are red. Violets are blue. We have a beautiful Frenchman called Olivier Giroud. I kid you not.

This one is the heartthrob of the World Cup, but I like watching him in action on the pitch. He’s fantastic in the air, great at passing, and he makes France looks good.

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Ollie has scored all manner of spectacular goals from the bicycle to the overhead volley, but the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace while in an Arsenal jersey is my favorite goal of his to date.

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Despite his work rate, Ollie is still underrated in England (such a shame that the English can appreciate his beauty, but not his football), but he’s on the move with Les Bleus. He’s tied at number 4 with Zidane for most goals with Les Bleus (31), which I hope he surpasses soon. 

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And I love that Arsenal fans still support him. 😄

The other Frenchman up is our quiet leading captain and my all-time favorite goalie, Hugo Lloris. 

France vs. Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Football is lucky to have Hugo because his first love was actually tennis and just imagine if tennis had actually gotten him! He has great hand and eye coordination and fantastic catlike reflexes. He needs to up his penalty game, but you can’t get past him on a good day when he’s disguised as a wall.

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Hugo commands his box well and he was given the name ‘sweeper keeper’ by the media because of his lightning speed when coming off the line to clear the ball or to deal with opponents in his area. 

France is a young team – they’re the second youngest team at the World Cup – and I see so much room for improvement in all areas, but Didier Deschamps won’t listen to me so I won’t tell him where to improve. I’m not the coach, so joking aside, through victories and disappointments, Les Bleus will always be a part of my heart. 💙

ALLEZ LES BLEUS! 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 23: Post five pictures of celebrities you find attractive

Haha! Right. I’ll do that… with footballers!

Olivier Giroud – Tall, handsome, stylish & French? What’s not to like? Also, bearded. He made me appreciate beards. 😄 I liked Giroud since his early days in France before he won an award for his good looks, so I am delighted with how far he got in his career. 

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Lionel Messi – The Tom Cruise of football! No, seriously, I remember a debate a few years ago in which fans argued about Leo and TC looking alike. I didn’t see it and maybe I needed to squint…

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…but I always thought Leo was cute and today no one argues with that. It’s too bad people have to see beauty in others in order to appreciate them and that’s everything wrong with the world today.

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*shrugging* Same old Leo!

Edinson Cavani – his hair is the dream stuff of commercials! Many people think he’s unattractive because of his face, but I think the opposite. 

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André Gomes – This boy should be on the catwalk instead of on the pitch because he’s got the looks! Not to discredit him as a footballer, I enjoyed watching Gomes grow into confidence this season. 

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Yoann Gourcuff – The first time I saw Yoann Gourcuff he was wearing the colors of the French national team and the first thing that came to mind was, “World’s prettiest footballer!” And then, “Why isn’t he on a catwalk?” But I appreciate Gourcuff as a footballer although, since his broken ankle, he’s not as good as he once was. 

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Although I had to choose five people, I happen to think that everyone is attractive in their own way. I look at people and go, “God certainly did a fantastic job with the human race.” 💙 

***Images via Google Search

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