Yes, Lyon, at home, has dropped for the first time the PSG in the league.
Yes, the XV of France has suffered the biggest turnaround in the history of the Six Nations Tournament against Wales.
Yes, the Olympique de Marseille has lost again, with a very discreet Balotelli.
But something else has happened this weekend in the world of sport. And you may have missed it.
The three lessons of the weekend
- Solitude, you will dominate
For his second skicross world championship, Frenchman François Place did not do things in half: here he is world champion in a discipline he has only recently discovered, after his first career in alpine skiing – 39 races , zero point in the World Cup. A bronze medalist in 2017, the former 29-year-old slalom has perfectly negotiated his turn towards a new discipline. He beat the Canadian duo Brady Leman and Kevin Drury in the final of the World Solitaire Championships in the United States.
François Place is CHAMPION DU MONDE in front of Leman and Drury 🥇🙌
We will be entitled to the Marseillaise 🇫🇷
#SKI Team https://t.co/FtSfLsbwbM
Place is the man that the team of France did not expect on these Worlds. But neither Bastien Midol, world number one, nor Jean-Frédéric Chapuis, Olympic champion in 2014, could reach the final. Injured on the shoulder in December, Place had not resumed competition until two weeks before the Worlds.
The XV of France who won was out this weekend. The French women held their place for the opening match of the Six Nations Women's Tournament, crushing the Welsh 52-3, with nine tries scored. Title holders – they achieved the Grand Slam in 2018 – the Bleues have made a mouthful of Welsh exceeded, unable to contain a team of France in great shape.
Les Bleues have perfectly attacked their 2019 Women's Six Nations Tournament by twisting Wales 52 to 3! … https://t.co/PVXUGlMIDf
Les Bleues, who remain on a historic victory against the New Zealanders in November 2018, have managed to find automatisms despite a group largely overhauled since the previous tournament. A good omen, before a dangerous trip to England, which will be the first big test in this tournament 2019.
This time, Mathieu van der Poel did not tremble. The Dutchman, who flew over the cyclo-cross season, won Sunday in Denmark his second World Championship title. Yes, it is only the second for the grandson of Raymond Poulidor, who has shone for five years in this discipline but who had escaped for three years the rainbow jersey, in favor of his Belgian rival Wout van Aert. As young (24 years), almost as domineering, Van Aert could not compete this time, dropped by the Dutch who finished alone a race perfectly mastered.
The pressure, the competition … @mathieuvdpoel 🇳🇱 overcame everything today to dominate the 2019 UCI Cyclo-Cross W … https://t.co/2BRrLDDsTp
Both will now be able to turn to their goals on the road, after a first season dotted but full of promise especially in the classics. Mathieu van der Poel, already Dutch road champion, will try his luck on Ghent – Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. Wout van Aert, impressive for his first campaign in 2018 (10e of Ghent – Wevelgem, 9e of the Tour of Flanders, 13e from Paris-Roubaix), will add to his program Milan – San Remo for his first season with his new team Jumbo-Visma.
The woman of the weekend: Nadia Nadim
Since her arrival in France, the footballer Nadia Nadim has spent more time on television than on the field – which makes her a special case. The player of Paris-Saint-Germain, recruited in January, came into play for the first time Saturday at the Stade Jean-Bouin against Montpellier. And she scored a quarter of an hour later (victory of Paris 4-0), as if to prove that it was not just a beautiful story.
Indeed, if Nadia Nadim, 31, has appeared on all television and radio stations in France since early January, it's more for the first 15 years of his life than the last 15. Born in Herat, Afghanistan, her life changed when her father, a senior Afghan army officer, was killed by the Taliban when she was 11 years old. A journey follows with her four sisters and her mother, who must smuggle her to London, where the distant family lives. But after Italy, a truck finally drives them to Denmark; where she discovers, in a refugee camp, that women can also play football.
In 2009, she became the first Danish born abroad to wear the jersey of the national team. Like its counterpart, Pione Sisto among men, it has become a symbol of the integration of refugees in Denmark, while the Danish People's Party, hostile to immigration, is now the second largest force in the country. For PSG, its audience on social networks also makes it an important marketing asset.
Apart from that, the PSG is first in Division 1, thanks to his victory and (especially) the postponement of the match Olympique Lyonnais scheduled Sunday.
The figure of the weekend: 55%
Paul Pogba has been directly involved in 55% of the 20 goals United Man have scored in the Premier League under Ole … https://t.co/h5Jd0uQZhl
That the scouts of Paris-Saint-Germain reassure themselves: Paul Pogba is still going so well, one week away from the first leg of the Champions League between Paris and Manchester United.
Sunday, on the ground of Leicester, the French delivered a great decisive pass by his inspiration and perfect in his achievement for Marcus Rashford. The conclusion is just as delicious, for the sole purpose of the meeting.
Manchester United continues its rise in the rankings (5e) under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose impressive Pogba throughout the match is the key player: with six goals and five assists, he is involved in more than half of the goals scored by the Red Devils since the departure of José Mourinho , who no longer considered him a holder. Since that date (22 December), Pogba is also the player involved in the most goals in the five major European leagues, certainly helped by the Premier League matches during the Christmas holidays.
Emblem of Slovak football and Napoli, which I am the top scorer in history in front of Diego Maradona, I surprised my world this weekend by saying goodbye to the San Paolo Stadium after a victory against Sampdoria. Indeed, I am heading for a golden end of career in China, at the age of 31 years.
I'm one of my club's many recruits this winter, and I did a lot of good this weekend: I was decisive in his first home win of the season.