You could imagine Platini or Jean Tigana coming up, kicking a deflated ball on the street with other boys, rehearsing the magic with which they would dazzle the world. The ease and flair they played with was different only in degree but not in kind from the soccer I played with my mates ? in the French game, much as in the Brazilian one, there is a joy of playing rooted in the purity of the street game. In contrast, no one could ever accuse Germans of enjoying themselves and no one could ever imagine them playing on the street.?:
Alexsander Hemon (The Thinking Fan?s Guide To The World Cup)
?Remember that the midfield players of the 1984 French national team were never called as youth players at any national level, not even for the U18s. Neither Giresse nor Tigana nor myself. The qualities required in young players are based on physique. There?s a huge difference between a thirteen-year old kid 1.8 metres tall and another measuring only 1.6 metres, whereas at eighteen years old, each will run as fast as the other. At that age footballing skills and the understanding of the game become more important; earlier on the prime concern lies in athletic prowess.?
?Batteux was years ahead of his time. It was as if he had invented training. It was totally different from anything being done elsewhere and it was so good that even when I was coach of the France team, more than 20 years later, I was using some of the things I learnt from him. His philosophy revolved around the beauty of the game. He married beauty with winning style. I always tried to preach the same thing myself as a coach.?:
France had one of the greatest midfields in the eighties which included the great Michel Platini, Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse.
During the world cups of 1982 and 1986 and in particular the 1984 European Championship which they won on home soil with such cultured exciting football.
This game emphasises midfield play and breaks in down to a 2v2 game in the centre of the pitch. This can also be developed by adding a neutral player in the midfield area.
Age Group U11s to adults
Pitch sizes 40 x 20 ? or at the discretion of the coach, but with a marked midfield off zone of approximately 20 yards
Number of teams ? 2
Team sizes 4v4 (+ optional neutral player
Goals ? standard 4 v 4 goals or 5 a side goals
A striker and defender from each team are in the end zones. The middle zone is 2v2 or 3v2 if you use a neutral player.
When the ball enters the midfield zone all the players must touch the ball before it can be played in to the last third. The player that is the last person to touch the ball in the midfield zone can either pass it to the attacker or dribble the ball into the area and make a 2v1 situation. The opposition midfield players can?t track him.
To improve combination play