Tuesday, June 17, 2008

France Out. Domenech: "Lightbulbs"

Aging stars of the golden generation and rising young talents who did not live up to billing proved to be a bad mix for les Blues, dumped out of Euro 2008 today by Italy. Despite the disappointment - some will call it failure - of a group-stage exit, manager Raymond Domenech had nothing but praise for the efforts of his squad.

"I am proud of the players," the 56-year-old said. "We had some bad luck. Sometimes life is like this. When I was a boy, I often wondered where the stars went in the daytime. Lightbulbs, I thought they were."

A figure of controversy in France, Domenech's selection policy has been scrutinized since he admitted that he sometimes uses astrological charts to evaluate players. He famously stated he distrusted Scorpios, which led him to overlook Robert Pires on many occasions. And he has silly hair for a man of his age.

The goodwill he earned by leading France to the 2006 World Cup Final is now likely exhausted. Expect him to be replaced in the near future by Didier Deschamps. Asked about this possibility, Domenech shrugged and said, "I cannot control the weather."

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