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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 July 2006, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Auld Alliance for World Cup Final
By Alex Robertson
BBC Scotland news website
Glasgow and West reporter

Gaëlle Evin and Charles Courdent of the Alliance Française de Glasgow
Gaëlle Evin and Charles Courdent of the Alliance on an Italian moped
The hosts missed out, Scotland weren't invited and France gatecrashed the party.

But on Sunday, as Berlin hosts the World Cup Final, the nations will unite in Glasgow in support of Les Bleus.

La Marseillaise will be ring out at the home the Alliance Française de Glasgow shares with the German Geothe-Institut in the city's Park Circus.

"Everything can happen," said Charles Courdent, director of the Alliance, who predicts a 3-0 victory.

It's good to be clever as opposed to young, we are the best team in the world
Charles Courdent

Up to 100 people are expected to attend his World Cup Final party.

Celtic player Bobo Balde has been invited, as has Francophile and Lord Provost of Glasgow Liz Cameron.

A month ago, it seemed an impossible dream to even the most optimistic Frenchman.

M. Courdent recalled an e-mail emanating from France urging viewers to click for the team's best World Cup moments.

The next page said: "The End."

Then the team progressed through the tournament to Sunday's final.

"I didn't expect this, it was a good surprise," he said.

"Many, many people are expected to attend.

"It will be a great day, everyone is welcome including Italian people who we are close to in culture."

'French everywhere'

M. Courdent, from Lille, has lived in Glasgow for three years.

There are about 5,000 registered French people living in Scotland.

Of that number, up to 3,000 live in Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

M. Courdent added: "I'm not sad at not being in France, we are French everywhere.

"It is an old team, but step by step they have got better.

"It's good to be clever as opposed to young, we are the best team in the world."

'Strong and experienced'

Aberdeen's French population said their team's performance can help unite their country.

Dominique Mancellon
Dominique Mancellon said football will unite his nation

At Café Boheme in Aberdeen's Windmill Brae, owner Dominique Mancellon said: "Politically in France there is a lot happening and it will help people to think we are a nation and pull together.

"Eight years ago it was a big party in the streets of France as people united."

Mr Mancellon, 49, who has lived and worked in Aberdeen for 25 years, predicted a victory.

He said: "We feel positive, in the past two games they had played good football despite many of the players getting older.

"It will not be an easy game.

"I think it will be 1-0 for France. I do not think there will be a lot of goals, and Zidane will do the job, if not Thierry Henry."

The restaurant's manager Didier Castanie, 47, who has been in Aberdeen for 30 years, added: "I think it will be 2-1, to France obviously.

"We have got some good players even although they are older. Our team is stronger and more experienced."


SEE ALSO
Scots Italians follow cup dream
08 Jul 06 |  Scotland



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