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Requiem for a broken Paris – Words from Nic

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Requiem for a broken Paris – Words from Nic

This blog is more than five years old, but it is only now that I write my first words on it. And if I had to publish a first text, it would necessarily be the one through which my whole adventure Mondoblog began. memories of Reassembledthe Barça vs Paris comeback 2017 seen fromAbomey Calavi.

On the evening of Valentine’s Day, love had chosen Paris as Prince Charming. Four searing kisses on the inflamed cheeks of fiancée Barcelona, ​​and the sky of the quarter-finals of the Champions League seemed promised to the French club. History was on his side, numbers too. In 213 matches, as many qualifications in the European cups each time a club led 4-0 in the first leg. What could these Gauls fear in such conditions? Nothing, only that the sky fell on their heads. And that is what happened, by Toutatis! In the round of 16 second leg, historic 6-1 loss at Camp Nou and an elimination at stake. AT Abomey Calavi in Benin, the whole university village trembled.

On this Wednesday evening, the heat was excessive in Manto Foota small neighborhood video club established near the nearby university campus. For a long time, this small trade made its turnover by broadcasting matches of foreign championships or European cups. Tonight from Reassembled at Mamanto, even the benches, placed directly on the earthen floor, seemed to shine with an unusual brilliance, as if they had been polished and waxed for the occasion, as if they would have thus offered better show comfort to the customers, as if it had been a historic evening. In this shelter of decrepit wood, palm hurdles, oilcloth and rusty sheet metal, the warm air was heavy with the smell of sweat and beer reeked of by the hundred and fifty customers who crowded the room.

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There were supporters there. PSG, maybe twenty, massed in front, on the leading benches of the left wing. There were also FC Barcelona supporters there, Bavarian as some regulars at Mamanto called them. They, curiously more numerous, occupied the entire right wing of the video club, blue and garnet jerseys slung over their bare chests. Their presence naturally attracted supporters of the Real MadridTHE Madrinuls as they say over there in Abomey-Calavi. Finally, there were football enthusiasts, a priori without Parisian, Catalan or even Madrid coloring, who came to Mamanto’s that evening with the hope of being amazed.

At 2-0 at halftime in favor of FC Barcelona, ​​the room was nothing more than a boiling sulfur pit, rumbling dully from the bursts of the swell of the supporters. They calculated, they overwhelmed the referee, they swore firm. The scenario of the match had simply driven this little world crazy.

On resumption, the penalty transformed by Messi did nothing to help the general frenzy. In the choir of “Go Barca! Go Barca »replied some shy “One goal, just one! », released in fits and starts by PSG fans who had become pale with anxiety. In the 62nd minute, the room rumbled once again. God, Cavani’s pluperfect half-volley was beautiful! 3-1. Paris, back from the devil vauvert, finally seemed to hold its qualification. And the front benches had regained their voice. “In the sauce, Barcelona in the sauce! »they thundered at the top of their voices.

Over the minutes that followed, the right wing of the room no longer dared to believe it, perhaps until the 88th minute of play and this majestic kick from Neymar.

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Brazilian Neymar scores a free kick in the 88th minute of play. 4-1 for Barca!

At 4-1, hope was reborn for the Bavarian. And it was up to the young Brazilian to definitively tip the furnace of the video club into furious madness, by transforming the 5-1 penalty in the first minutes of additional time.

Then, it was five minutes of impatience for the small world of the room, five minutes lived standing from one end to the other by the supporters of all stripes. The video club was ripe for the grand finale. Sergi Roberto gave him the chance, planting Barcelona’s sixth goal at the very end of what felt like an eternity of waiting.

The furious madness at Camp Nou, after Sergi Roberto’s 95th-minute winning goal

Paris battered by the waves, Paris finally submerged, at the end of the journey, at the end of hell. Stupor, hugs, tears and joy… Contrast of emotions in the video club.
“Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! And Paris eliminated…” Implacable truth of history, unspeakable magic of this Champions League evening, thus summed up in this tweet Gaullist by Bernard Pivot the next moment.

That day, late at night, Abomey-Calavi was filled with the concert of car horns given by onlookers moved by this madness. And the rising day welcomed their music, cheerful as a requiem for a broken Paris.

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