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Coupe de France final – The Tom Thumb of the Herbarium against the ogre PSG

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | The team of Herbiers during a training session at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, May 7, 2018

“We are here to learn, and I hope that the big PSG players will teach us the lesson,” said the coach of Les Herbiers. The small Vendée club will try to resist the onslaught of the Parisians Tuesday (9:05 pm) in a Coupe de France final can not be more unbalanced.

On the one hand, the PSG, crowned champion in mid-April in Ligue 1 and triple defending champion in the Coupe de France; on the other, a team still struggling to stay in the third division, but who lives, thanks to this Cup final, the most beautiful epic in its history.

“This is the charm of the Coupe de France, the opportunity that an average team arrives at this final and can enjoy with all the supporters of a small village to be here, in a full Stade de France,” says PSG coach Unai Emery, who demands “respect” for the Herbarium “who deserved to be here”.

At the Herbiers, a town of 16,000 inhabitants, all or almost have donned the red and black colors of their club, which for the occasion became the standard bearer of the whole Vendée.

– Eiffel Tower –

A 32-meter tall Eiffel Tower was even erected in the parking lot of the stadium Massabielle to celebrate the performance of the local team.

“I do not like football, but what happens to the Herbarium is unheard of,” says Evelyne, 65.

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | Herbal coach Stephane Masala speaks to his players on May 7, 2018 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis

At the bakery of the Guerriau family, we sell VHF (like Vendée Les Herbiers Football, the name of the club), a dark chocolate cake …

For Stéphane Masala, the coach of the Herbarium, it is a “grand finale” because “it brings together all the football, the amateurs and the professionals, of the talent, of the players who are part of the world top with the PSG, and of amateur players with a lot of heart and solidarity on the other side “.

How to measure the chasm separating the two teams? To their budgets, some 540 million euros for Paris and its investors Qatar against EUR 2 million for Herbarium. That’s 270 times less …

To their ambitions, between the PSG forced to win everything on the national stage to forget a new failed campaign in the Champions League, and Herbers who have already managed their season with this final?

– The end of the Emery cycle –

In the ranks of Paris, the goal is to offer a seventh trophy to coach Unai Emery, on the departure after two years at the head of the club, while the name of the German Thomas Tuchel returns with insistence to succeed him .

“We have to win this title for him (Emery), to finish the season and this cycle with him and the staff, he has brought us a lot of positive things,” said captain Thiago Silva.

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | The PSG players want to offer a seventh trophy to coach Unai Emery, on the start after two years at the helm of the club. Photo of May 7, 2018 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis

In the stands of the Stade de France, Neymar should be there to encourage his teammates. The Brazilian star returned Friday in Paris from Rio, two months after his right foot operation. He comes to support his club and finish his convalescence, in view of the World Cup in Russia (June 14 – July 15) with his selection.

With this title that seems promised to him, the PSG targets records. A fourth Coupe de France in a row would be a first. The club, already sacred 11 times, can also dream of the biggest victory in the final of the competition, the 5-0 obtained by Saint-Etienne against Nantes in 1970.

“On our eleven titles (Coupe de France) only two games were won with a difference of more than one goal,” said Unai Emery.

At the Herbiers, President Michel Landreau sees the Coupe de France as a “bonus, whether financial, sports or media.We will celebrate as it should be this beautiful course at the end of the season, whatever happens.”

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