Planet Play-off

 

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Whatever tickles your ankles

THERE IS, of course, the danger of meanings getting lost in translation when languages collide: our French-speaking pals still insist Raymond Domenech never called Ireland “a sort of England B-team”. He, they say, described Ireland as the “equivalent” of the England team because so many of the Irish play in the Premier League. So, Richard Dunne might have been angry for nothing earlier this week.

And when we read comments yesterday by French defender Eric Abidal, we suspected there were more gremlins in the translating works.

“They try to tickle your ankles, but that’s part of football,” he was reported as having said of the Irish players.

Tickle your ankles? Intrigued, we found the interview in French and ran it through our ever reliable internet translator.

Reporter: “Are the Irishman provocative?”

Abidal: “Yes, but the Frenchman are intelligent. The Irish seek the small fault. They will try to titillate us for that the ankles are touched.”

Well, none the wiser – until we found a more accurate translation: “There will be a little malice and provocation. We must see what happens and not get caught up in it. They will look for the slightest mistake and try to draw fouls, it’s part of football. It is a strategy.”

That’s cleared up then. Still, “Trapattoni’s Green and White Ankle Ticklers” has a ring about it.

What they’re saying

“They are crazy about football and I expect them to run all over the pitch to give everything, and in the away game as well.” – Bacary Sagna.

“I’ve had the impression for days that certain people have been wearing green on purpose. Maybe that’s just my imagination. But the other day I opened a can of Sprite, took a good look at it and decided I had to swap it for another drink. The moment I see anything green I think about the Republic of Ireland.” – Patrice Evra

No stereotypes please, we’re Irish

French reporter:“Your name sounds really French, do you have any French links?”

Seán St Ledger:“Apparently! I’ve been told I have, yeah. A long, long time ago, I’m not too sure, but I’ve been told somewhere in my heritage I could have been French. But I don’t like frogs’ legs.”

French reporter:“I don’t either.”

St Ledger:“Do you not?”

French reporter:“No.”

St Ledger:“Oh.”

French reporter:

Toulouse talent has a Rebel background

THE CULTURAL and historical significance of Croke Park may be lost on the majority of France players, yet Andre-Pierre Gignac is a notable exemption.

The Toulouse striker, who is being tipped to lead the line for France, revealed he is a fan of Gaelic football and cannot wait to grace the sport’s spiritual home.

“When I was young I used to go to a holiday camp in Fermoy, a small town near Cork,” Gignac said. “That’s where I got to know Gaelic football. Last week, I went on the internet to find out what Croke Park looks like. This stadium is magnificent! It’s going to be fabulous to play there for a place in the World Cup.”