Andre-Pierre Gignac – From Tigre’s Eldorado to Euro 2016 in France?

Andre-Pierre Gignac – From Tigre’s Eldorado to Euro 2016 in France?

This past summer, when Andre-Pierre Gignac decided to move from the French team Olympique de Marseille to the Mexican team Tigres UANL, most sport journals thought that his international career was over. This reaction was reasonable if you take into account the difficult relationship between the striker and Didier Deschamps, who coached him at Marseille and who is now the French team manager. Gignac’s last call up for Les Bleus, France’s national team, was a friendly against Sweden a year ago, which resulted in a French 1- 0 win against Sweden. Since that game, and despite his good form at Marseille, Deschamps had never called him back to participate in the friendlies to prepare for Euro 2016. In the five months after signing for Tigres UANL, Gignac has shown that he is still a high performing striker—his ten league goals make him Tigres’s top scorer in the league. At first glance, France’s forward options appear limited to a choice between the bad form of Alexandre Lacazette, and Karim Benzema who is facing a possible conviction on the Valbuena sex tape affair—the French court has ruled that for as long as the investigation continues there should be no contact between Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema, which could make life difficult for Deschamps. Therefore, with only seven months to go before the European Championship kick off in France, Deschamps could face a hard choice as a court order may force him to exclude either Valbuena or Benzema in what could be one of his toughest choices since taking over as the coach of the national team in 2012. The Valbuena sex tape affair, therefore, may provide Gignac with a way back into the squad. Also, contrary to rumors that Gignac had been forgotten after he left for Mexico, the national team coach has been following Gignac’s career in Mexico closely. Although, as was previously reported on Futebolcidade, Gignac’s move to the Mexican Eldorado was perceived as the close of his international career, he now appears to have a slight chance of participating in Euro 2016. Gignac made the jump to Mexican football because he hoped that he could win the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the European Champions League—the oldest international club trophy in the world. Gignac played his first Tigres game in the semi-final against International of Porto Alegre, scoring his first goal on the return leg. Unfortunately for him and Tigres they faced on form River Plate in the finals and lost 3-0 on aggregate in the final. After the Libertadores interlude, it was time for Tigres and Gignac to concentrate on the Mexican League where they now currently sit at the fifth place in the Apertura, a spot that qualifies them for the liguilla (playoffs). Gignac’s success story at Tigres is almost complete, with the striker sitting in second on the overall scorers’ table. In addition, Mexican fans have even created a song for the striker; the song is an adaptation of a classic Mexican song called Bomboro Quiña Quinã and shows how well the supporters have adopted their new star player. But most important, Gignac is once again on the radar of France’s national team coach, and despite his controversial move to Mexico this summer, Gignac may yet fulfil his dream of playing for his country at France’s home European Championship next summer. By Thomas Farines -

This past summer, when Andre-Pierre Gignac decided to move from the French team Olympique de Marseille to the Mexican team Tigres UANL, most sport journals thought that his international career was over. This reaction was reasonable if you take into account the difficult relationship between the striker and Didier Deschamps, who coached him at Marseille and who is now the French team manager.

Gignac’s last call up for Les Bleus, France’s national team, was a friendly against Sweden a year ago, which resulted in a French 1- 0 win against Sweden. Since that game, and despite his good form at Marseille, Deschamps had never called him back to participate in the friendlies to prepare for Euro 2016.

In the five months after signing for Tigres UANL, Gignac has shown that he is still a high performing striker—his ten league goals make him Tigres’s top scorer in the league. At first glance, France’s forward options appear limited to a choice between the bad form of Alexandre Lacazette, and Karim Benzema who is facing a possible conviction on the Valbuena sex tape affair—the French court has ruled that for as long as the investigation continues there should be no contact between Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema, which could make life difficult for Deschamps.

Therefore, with only seven months to go before the European Championship kick off in France, Deschamps could face a hard choice as a court order may force him to exclude either Valbuena or Benzema in what could be one of his toughest choices since taking over as the coach of the national team in 2012.

The Valbuena sex tape affair, therefore, may provide Gignac with a way back into the squad. Also, contrary to rumors that Gignac had been forgotten after he left for Mexico, the national team coach has been following Gignac’s career in Mexico closely. 

Although, as was previously reported on Futebolcidade, Gignac’s move to the Mexican Eldorado was perceived as the close of his international career, he now appears to have a slight chance of participating in Euro 2016.

Gignac made the jump to Mexican football because he hoped that he could win the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the European Champions League—the oldest international club trophy in the world. Gignac played his first Tigres game in the semi-final against International of Porto Alegre, scoring his first goal on the return leg. Unfortunately for him and Tigres they faced on form River Plate in the finals and lost 3-0 on aggregate in the final.

After the Libertadores interlude, it was time for Tigres and Gignac to concentrate on the Mexican League where they now currently sit at the fifth place in the Apertura, a spot that qualifies them for the liguilla (playoffs). Gignac’s success story at Tigres is almost complete, with the striker sitting in second on the overall scorers’ table. In addition, Mexican fans have even created a song for the striker; the song is an adaptation of a classic Mexican song called Bomboro Quiña Quinã and shows how well the supporters have adopted their new star player.

But most important, Gignac is once again on the radar of France’s national team coach, and despite his controversial move to Mexico this summer, Gignac may yet fulfil his dream of playing for his country at France’s home European Championship next summer.

By Thomas Farines –

Feature image via metronews.fr

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