Aimé Jacquet, the unforgivable attack of thugs

Aimé Jacquet, the unforgivable attack of thugs

This May 6 marks a disastrous anniversary for Aimé Jacquet: the front page of L’Equipe “And we play at 13?” the day after the announcement of a first list of 28 players for the 1998 World Cup.

Asked to nominate the 22 players called to lead the French team to the roof of the world, Aimé Jacquet decided not to decide, on May 5, 1998, when the list of Blues selected for the World Cup was announced. In France. Or at least not completely. Because instead of 22 names, the French coach lists 28 names, the final choice only having to take place a few weeks later.

Aimé Jacquet’s way of doing things, unprecedented at the time, earned him a lot of criticism. “And we play at 13? “, don’t hesitate to title The team the day after the announcement. Enough to reinforce the mistrust between the French technician and the French daily newspaper, omniscient while the Internet was only in its infancy. “This list is the result of research that I did for eighteen months”, justifies Aimé Jacquet, who nevertheless still intends to take his time to refine his team, his tactics and to be able to face all eventualities. Claude Simonet, the president of the Federation, sees this “a measure of wisdom” ctaking into account the matches that most players still have to play, whether in the league or in the European Cup finals.

Death threats to L’Equipe

“We prefer to live with 28 players who deserve selection. In the coming weeks, a lot of things can happen. We have no right to part with players or put them in difficult situations when we need all our strength,” he still argues. But the coach’s explanations are difficult to convince and his person is attacked. The teamalways her, who had already explained that the former midfielder “wasn’t the man for the job” describes it in its editorial as « brave type ».

The comments from the press will mark the coach with a hot iron. Despite the euphoria of victory, on July 12, 1998, the former Bordeaux player will remember his detractors by taking them down in front of millions of viewers. “Some of the press lied shamefully. I will never forgive them. I have nothing but contempt for these people.”, he says. These people are essentially the journalists from L’Equipe, described as “thug, irresponsible, dishonest and incompetent” and holders of “monopoly of stupidity”. Enough to earn the journalists of L’Equipe, Jérôme Bureau and Vincent Duluc in the lead, death threats.

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