Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pires: Philadelphia isn't 'beautiful'

I think we all know how this is going to go over.

Pires: Philadelphia isn't 'beautiful'

French midfielder Robert Pires has reportedly  turned down a contract offer from the Union. (Fernando Bustamante/AP file photo)
French midfielder Robert Pires has reportedly turned down a contract offer from the Union. (Fernando Bustamante/AP file photo)

Okay, I think we all know how this is going to go over.

Robert Pirès is not coming to Philadelphia. It's not about money, or visa problems, or something else... it's because he doesn't like the city. Rather strongly, it seems.

Pirès spoke with the website of the Frech sports newspaper L'Équipe, which gave its story the headline "Pirès refuse Philadelphie." I don't think you need a dictionary to translate that.

"Pires refused the American club's offer," the reporter writes.

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"I didn't like it [Philadelphia] very much," Pires said. "I don't want to make this difficult, but to leave and take my family far, I would prefer that it would be to a beautiful city."

The exact words in French were "je préfère que ce soit dans une belle ville." This is not one of those situations where you lose something in a direct translation, believe me.

To make matters worse, Pirès then saluted Thierry Henry's impending move to New York in rather particular language.

"I wish that he does go there," Pirès said. "That is a beautiful city."

I'll let you have at this in a moment. But before you do, I would just like to point out that Reims, the city where Pirès was born, is the 13th-largest city in France; and Vila-Real, where Pirès' club is located, isn't even in the top 50 of largest Spanish cities.

If I really wanted to, I could tell you plenty about how great the Languedoc and Provence are (and Paris, of course) compared to Champagne-Ardenne. I could also tell you why I think the Union are better off without Pirès, whose best days are well behind him after all the injuries he's suffered.

For now, though, the best thing might just be to have a glass of cider. That's the drink of choice in Haute-Normandy, where Sebastien Le Toux's home town of Mont-Saint-Aignan is located.

Cheers.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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