Emmanuel Macron’s love of the beautiful game is well documented. When he isn’t pitted against the unions or Britain, the French president can be spotted in a football ground – whether that is having a kick-about with his beloved Olympique Marseille, or in the stands cheering on Les Bleus.
This afternoon, Manu played in a charity match at Leo Lagrange stadium in Poissy against a team of staff from the Poissy Saint-Germain-en-Laye hospital. He started in midfield for the Variety Club of France alongside footballing royalty – including Rudi Garcia, Marcel Desailly and even former Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger.
Macron – wearing the number 3 jersey – looked comfortable throughout. During the match, his team were awarded a penalty kick. Up steps the head of state, who walked up to the spot and slid the ball into the net. It must be said, the keeper did not cover himself with total glory, but it was glorious nonetheless to see Emmanuel score.
Macron played with the grace and composure of a playmaker like Zidine Zidane, said one of his supporters. Unlike his G7 rival Boris Johnson, who has more in common with Vinnie Jones crossed with a TV wrestler from the 1970s. Who can forget the time the prime minister rugby tackled Maurizo Gaudino?
Anglo-French relations are dire right now. To settle it, how about the British Cabinet take on the French government to settle the differences over fishing and trade? Ben Wallace in defence and Rishi Sunak dishing up the goals upfront. With Jacob Rees-Mogg on the right-wing. And Boris Johnson on the left-wing.