A look back at some of the most striking duels between the French and the Spaniards.
Their rivalry animated the 2010s: the French and Spanish basketball players, best enemies, meet in the final of Eurobasket-2022 on Sunday (8:30 p.m.), six years after their last duel in a major tournament. Back on this rivalry in six matches.
The birth of an enmity in the final of Euro 2011
Even if the Spaniards had already corrected the Blues (86-66) two years earlier in the quarter-finals of Euro-2009, the 2011 edition marked the start of hostilities. For the first time in the final of the European Championship in its history, the French team can measure what still separates it from the Spanish defending champions (98-85). A gesture marks the match, a high tackle on Tony Parker from Rudy Fernandez, who will still be on the floor on Sunday at 37.
The impotence of the 2012 Olympics
A year after the lost final, the band of Tony Parker is not yet at the level of the Roja of the Gasol brothers and Sergio Llull and is heading straight for elimination in the quarter-finals (66-59). Frustrated by the end of the match dominated by the Spaniards, future Olympic vice-champions, Nicolas Batum lands a punch below the belt to Juan Carlos Navarro. "I gave her a good reason to fall», will answer «Batman“Questioned about his gesture at a press conference.
The French revenge of Euro 2013
The history between the two teams began to thicken and here is the Blues at the gates of a second European final. Problem: stands before them their pet peeve, La Roja, in the semi-finals of Euro-2013. The first half (34-20) is soft, only Tony Parker floats (14 of 20 French points). But the speech of TP in the locker room, immortalized by the cameras of Canal +, inflates the future champions of Europe. "We play like we're scared“Annoys the leader of the San Antonio Spurs. "It shows in their faces. They take us for shit“, he asserts again. "Me, I prefer to lose by fighting. But not like that there... There, we get screwed.“Back on the floor, his troops hang the extension (65-65) then qualify (75-72) for the final.
The Gobert revelation at the 2014 World Cup
With a rejuvenated team, without its leader Tony Parker or Joakim Noah, Alexis Ajinça or Kévin Séraphin, resting that summer, the French basketball players eliminated Spain from their World Cup at home in the quarter-finals (65-52 ) with in particular a three-point shot from Thomas Heurtel (25 years old then) who remained in the memories. A rookie shines that day: Rudy Gobert (22), who comes out of a very discreet season at Utah Jazz, springs into the racket where he dominates Pau Gasol with 13 compiled rebounds. "He had revealed himself defensively because he really took to heart to defend on Gasol, describes his then captain Boris Diaw. In 2014, it was a springboard for him.»
The Blues disgusted at their Euro 2015
A year after the elimination of the Spaniards from their World Cup in Madrid, the latter returned change to the French by ejecting them from their Euro-2015 after extra time (80-75) in the semi-finals. In Lille, Pau Gasol takes his revenge on Rudy Gobert by stacking 40 points, his record in selection. "We wanted to take our revenge, he comments. We cried after this match (from 2014). It's France's turn.“Defending champions, the Blues give it back to La Roja who dominates Lithuania in the final.
Parker's last at the 2016 Olympics
For the last campaign of their leader Parker, but also of Mickaël Gelabale and Florent Pietrus, the Blues covet a medal which has always fled from TP at the 2016 Olympic Games. the thrash 92-67. "We put French basketball on the world map“, retains the leader author of his last fourteen points. "We played against a great Spanish generation. It was a great rivalry. That's what I reminded my teammates. We did not lose against anyone.»