France 0-1 Portugal: bonjour tristesse. Shouldn’t really care, but do

Sam, of the left, is happy enough
Sunderland Sam, of the left, is happy enough

This was Monsieur Salut’s Facebook posting:

Wanted France to win, they deserved it overall but Portugal suddenly burst into life for just enough of the second period of extra time to tear up the script. Both teams responsible for an awful final …

Read moreFrance 0-1 Portugal: bonjour tristesse. Shouldn’t really care, but do

The Euro 2016 Final: France v Portugal. Ha’way les Bleus

france 1 - 1

Monsieur Salut introduces the finale of Euro 2016. He can hardly disguise his allegiance, which would have been forced on him by marriage if not also by natural preference. Allez les Bleus. Who knows if the above shirt might come in handy in Sunderland’s coming season; if you like what you see, remember Classic Football Shirts are good friends of this site and take a look at their site

Right, so not everyone round here is hooked on the Euros. But while it has not been a sensational tournament, there has been some excellent if sporadic football and a great chunk of romance. Now, there’s every chance of a deserving winner.

I am with those who care little for internationals. I’m more concerned about any Sunderland game, including last night’s bottom-of-the-table encounter between the SAFC Ladies and Doncaster Belles (I’m writing before its kickoff; NB update is that our Lasses won handsomely, 4-0), than pretty much whatever England get up to.

Tonight, I’m rooting for France. I expect the seafront of Le Lavandou, the French resort where I live for nearly half the year, to be alive towards midnight if Les Bleus have done it and will be there if it happens.

But as we showed with our Euro “Who are You?” two-parter, there is support for Portugal, too, even among the followers of Sunderland AFC.

portugal 1 - 1

Sam Verissimo, a home-and-away regular, is half-Portuguese, half-Scottish. He gave some cracking answers, of which I particularly loved the following extract.

Who have been the standout countries and players of the tournament for you?

Iceland for obvious reasons but I think Hungary came out and did it for Fulop. They showed why they used to be a great footballing nation. Standout player has to be Hector for Germany for me.

Who has seriously disappointed?

Portugal. Their first four games. Saying that I guess a draw against them wasn’t quite as bad as losing to them! Say no more.

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And then we had Véronique Laniel, a Sunderland-supporting Frenchwoman living happily on Wearside. “Magnifique,” trilled her friends at Twitter as news spread of her brilliant interview here.

Sample:

You are a SAFC season ticket holder. Explain! Where from in France, how long in Sunderland, why, how the club got under your skin, your thoughts on the city and the region?

I moved to Sunderland 20 years ago, a French company sent me to the North East for work, I’m originally from Saint Etienne. I simply fell in love with the people of the North East so I decided to stay and here I am still here! I think the city of Sunderland has come a long way from what I can remember when I first arrived, it has moved forward in the right direction which is great to see. I love it here, the friendliness, the sense of community, the weather (not!).

I’ve always liked football and my interest in SAFC grew when my sons started playing football for the Foundation of Light, I got more and more involved in football then. After attending a few matches to start with, my passion for the club got stronger and stronger and I could not bear not going so becoming a season ticket holder was the next step to take. The passion of the fans got under my skin and why I do love the club so much? I don’t really know actually ! It’s a feeling, it’s in me!

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So let’s get on with the game. I hope it’s a good one and, like our French Mackemoiselle, I hope it’s settled before the final whistle and not with penalties.

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And if you feel attracted to any of the Classic Football Shirts clobber displayed, or want to see what else they have to offer, have a wander over to their site at bit.ly/1OZhVU5. They’re good to us – sponsoring competitipns and so on – and anything you buy from them helps Salut! Sunderland pay the bills.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Allez les Bleus: the Saint Etienne Mackemoiselle rooting for France in Sunderland

Veronique
Véronique: true colours – and two of them work for SAFC too

Monsieur Salut writes: tomorrow night, should France do what logic expects and defeat a Portugal side that has won only once in normal time on the way to the Euro 2016 final, the country will be en fête. But the same will go for a part of Sunderland that is forever French.

Salut! Sunderland found a Sunderland-supporting Portuguese fan, Sam Verissimo, for the first of these special Who are You! interviews. Now it is the turn of FrenchFancy1971, as she calls herself on Twitter, Véronique Laniel as she is known in real life, a product of Saint-Etienne – where the film version of Sunderland, the hit Paris play, was relocated – but settled on Wearside with the Red and Whites firmly lodged with Les Verts in her heart. She warns us ‘to read this with a French Mackem accent in mind’ …

Read moreAllez les Bleus: the Saint Etienne Mackemoiselle rooting for France in Sunderland

France vs Portugal ‘Who are You?’: a SAFC supporter cries forcaportugal

SAM
Our Sam on the right


Tomorrow: another SAFC season ticket holder – Véronique, a solidly French adopted Mackem – exudes passion for La Belle France …

Monsieur Salut writes: here’s a special treat from the tireless souls at Salut! Sunderland. Many readers enjoy the Who are You? series. Why not one for the Euro 2016 final?

Help was sought from miles around. Loads of friends of this site tried to dig up suitable candidates, a supporter of France and a supporter of Portugal.

And we ended up – I am delighted to say – with two Sunderland fans. Once Ronaldo and Griezmann had declined our offer (“reward in heaven guv, honest”), it could not have worked out better. Shout-outs are due to Kay and Steve, also Sunderland supporters, for putting me on the track of Sam Verissimo, home-and-away regular but also half-Portuguese.

So let’s start with Portugal, whose plodding route to the final has underwhelmed most neutrals. Sam describes himself at Twitter as ‘a born entertainer who apparently looks like Michael Mcintyre’ and has a SoL season ticket despite living in London. He fears the worst for his country on Sunday …

Read moreFrance vs Portugal ‘Who are You?’: a SAFC supporter cries forcaportugal

Postcard from Portugal: shaking and stirred as we draw the final game

'Let’s pretend we scored a goal': a chant reported by the Sunderland Echo's Chris Young
‘Let’s pretend we scored a goal’: a chant reported by the Sunderland Echo’s Chris Young

John McCormick writes: Don’t you wish you’d been there? Not for the goals but for the atmosphere? Our away fans really are the best, and here’s one of them, Richy Duggan, with his last post of the Albufeira trip.

Read morePostcard from Portugal: shaking and stirred as we draw the final game

Postcard from Portugal: praising van Aanholt and Catts, rebuking a hostile minority

Liam Bridcutt
Richy with Liam Bridcutt

Two down, one to go, with a win and a defeat so far. Our man in Portugal, Richy Duggan, offers his report and analysis of the late defeat to CD Nacional. That leaves Vitória Setúbal on Saturday before it’s home for the final fortnight of the pre-season preparations. Richy will be pleased to hear the five World Cup replica balls for his Hendon Young People’s Project arrived yesterday – Salut! Sunderland having to raid the piggy bank to pay excess postage of 57 euros – and will be up on Wearside for hand delivery as soon as M Salut finds himself back for a match …

Read morePostcard from Portugal: praising van Aanholt and Catts, rebuking a hostile minority

Pure Poyetry: CD Nacional 1 SAFC 0. Gus happy enough in defeat

Jake captures the man and the touchline method
Jake captures the man and the touchline method

Last season, CD Nacional finished fifth in the Portuguese top flight,qualifying for the Europa League. So the win that looked for a long while like coming would have been an impressive second win in Sunderland’s short trip to the Algarve, Instead, a late goal brought defeat, Gus Poyet remained upbeat, as managers do when able to pass off pre-season reverses as essentially exercises in fitness and blending. Here’s his post-match e-mail from Portugal’s holiday playground …

Read morePure Poyetry: CD Nacional 1 SAFC 0. Gus happy enough in defeat

Postcard from Portugal: Mika’s joy puts smiles on Mackem faces

Richy on the left, Mikael Mandron in the middle and Michael (Tomo) Thompson on the right
Richy on the left, Mikael Mandron in the middle and Michael (Tomo) Thompson on the right

From our Own Correspondent, as the BBC might say. Richy Duggan, Salut! Sunderland’s man on the Algarve continues his diary of an enviable little break following the Lads – and the Boys, it seems – on pre-season duty. Mika’s tweet (see below) summed up his own feelings; the picture accompanying this introduction shows him in fan-friendly mode …

Read morePostcard from Portugal: Mika’s joy puts smiles on Mackem faces

Postcard from Portugal: Richy’s quick introduction ahead of Sunderland’s opener

Richy contemplates our latest target
Richy contemplates our latest target


Richy Dugggan, project manager at the Hendon Young People’s Project in Sunderland,
is among the lucky supporters out on the Algarve for the warm-up trip. Tonight Sunderland play the first of two games, against Recreativo de Huelva, and Richy will be there to pass on his thoughts to us.

You may recognise the name from recent Salut! Sunderland reporting: Richy’s admirable project is the beneficiary of the generosity of Raich Carter junior, son of the Hendon-born Sunderland (and later Hull City) legend.

Read morePostcard from Portugal: Richy’s quick introduction ahead of Sunderland’s opener

Sixer sees Hearts in right place, misses Portugal and Danny Graham scoring

tynecastle

We have our spies, or at any rate a spy, in Portugal who promises faithfully to act as Salut! Sunderland‘s foreign correspondent. No spies in Lincolnshire, so far as we know, so we must just trust the reporters got it right and Danny Graham really did score. Pete Sixsmith had mates there who can fill us in on the detail if they wish. The man himself felt Tynecastle held more attraction than either, or was just an easier or better trip …

Read moreSixer sees Hearts in right place, misses Portugal and Danny Graham scoring