2012-13 France Home Shirt Size Small - Ben Arfa #20
Era: 2012-13 (Used for the 2012 UEFA European Championships and for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Campaign)
Name/Number: Ben Arfa #20
CONDITION: VERY GOOD
Only the wear to the name and numbering print prevents this shirt from being described as excellent in condition as the material itself and respective embroidery are in fantastic condition!
Pit to Pit Measurement: 19 inches
Shirt Length: 28 inches
Made by Nike in their ‘Dri-Fit’ range of shirts which they introduced in 2012; this shirt provides dimensions for an excellent size small fitting shirt!
Nike’s 2nd iteration of France’s home shirt would retain the band collar from their debut effort; however, the pattern and colour scheme would make this instantly distinguishable from its predecessor. While the first creation was a very minimal shirt, this effort would use a contrasting horizontal stripe design; layering navy and blue atop of each other, while gold accents were used for the Nike swoosh and graphic of the national team crest and sky blue was used for the aforementioned collar. Even the classic white shorts and red socks combination were ditched in favour of matching navy shorts and socks; altogether creating one of the most unique attires that ‘Les Bleus’ have ever been draped in! This would be shirt worn as France reached the quarter final of Euro 2012, and would be first national team home shirt worn at senior level for Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and the last worn by veterans Samir Nasri and Florent Malouda.
In 2011, the mission was accomplished of reaching Euro 2012 without the controversy that marred the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying effort. The next step in 2012 was for Laurent Blanc to guide ‘Les Bleus’ to a respectable enough showing that would distance themselves further from the catastrophe that was South Africa just 18 months prior.
They began the final preparations for the Euro’s with an impressive 2-1 win over Germany in a friendly in Bremen on February 9th and this would be the last time the national side convened until May. On May 27th, they’d come back from 2-0 down to defeat Iceland 3-2 in a thrilling friendly in Valenciennes, before more straight forward victories over Serbia and Estonia respectively set them up for their opening contest at Euro 2012 versus England on June 11th.
A 1-1 draw would unfold in Donetsk, before a 2-0 win over co-hosts – Ukraine four days later, saw France qualify alongside England out of the group; defeat however in their final game versus Sweden would set them up with a tie against reigning European and World Champions and tournament favourites – Spain, in the quarter final. France would be beaten 2-0 by Spain in the same Donbass Arena that they played in against England and Ukraine; however, for the nation in transition, their showing was respectable, however, Laurant Blanc would step down as manager and he would be replaced by his long-time captain during his playing days – Didier Deschamps.
Deschamps, the man who captained France to World Cup glory in 1998 and then to the European Championships in 2000 would begin his tenure in the dugout with a goalless draw against Uruguay on August 15th in Le Havre, and his start would be a mixed bag – winning in 2-1 a friendly against Italy to end the year and drawing 1-1 with Spain the month before that, however also overseeing a shock defeat to Japan on October 12th. Most importantly however, they would remain in unbeaten in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup – winning twice and the aforementioned draw with Spain.
The first half of the 2013 calendar would feature a murderers row of opponents that included – Germany, Spain, Uruguay and Brazil! More damning would be that France would suffer defeats in all four of those games, in fact after back to back draws with Belgium and Georgia; France would have just won once in 8 games in 2013 ahead of the September 10th trip to Belarus.
France would prevail 4-2 in the Belarussian capital, before putting 6 past Australia in a Paris friendly on October 11th. They would end qualification for the World Cup in 2nd place after defeating Finland 3-0 on October 15th; the defeat against Spain on March 26th would prove decisive as France would have to battle Ukraine in a play-off to reach the tournament in Brazil in 2014.
On November 15th, Ukraine would stun France 2-0 in the same venue that Sweden ended their 23 match unbeaten run in back at Euro 2012! 4 days later at the Stade de France; France would ensure there was no upset or repeat of the controversy against the Republic of Ireland in 2009 as they comfortably overturned the deficit with a 3-0 win thanks to a brace from Mamadou Sakho and a strike from Karim Benzema!
The notable players that season were:
Olivier Giroud, Andre Pierre-Gignac, Karim Benzema, Mathieu Valbuena, Hatem Ben Arfa, Florent Malouda, Franck Ribery, Marvin Martin, Yann M’Vila, Samir Nasri, Paul Pogba, Abou Diaby, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye, Alou Diarra, Christophe Jallet, Anthony Revellere, Mathieu Debuchy, Patrice Evra, Adil Rami, Philippe Mexes, Laurent Koscielny, Raphael Varane, Gael Clichy, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Cedric Carrasso
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