Football came home, and what a fine house-guest it once again was. Vithushan Ehantharajah conjures up some notable memories
Who? Exactly. Talk about a fall from grace: Pedros was regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation (on par with Zinedine Zidane, who wasn’t too shabby). At Nantes, he was part of the “Trio Magique”, also featuring Patrice Loko and Nicolas Ouédec, who guided Les Canaris to the French title in 1994-95, and then the semi-final of the Champions League the next year. Loko and Pedros made it into the squad, but both were limited to roles as impact subs. And Pedros had an impact all right in the semi-final.
France had beaten Holland in the quarters on a penalty shoot-out; Pedros was the sixth penalty taker but unneeded thanks to Bernard Lama saving Clarence Seedorf's spot-kick. However, when the semi-final against the Czechs went the distance and each side's first five takers found the net, Pedros's moment arrived. Striding up to the Stretford End, he stroked his shot left-footed to the left of Petr Kouba - but the Czech goalkeeper got down easily to parry wide, and Miroslav Kadlec scored to put the Czechs into the final.
So France’s tournament was over – and so, it turned out, was Pedros’s international career. Scapegoated by the French media, he fled to Italy but couldn’t stop his stock crashing; an attempted comeback in lower-league French football failed and he eventually saw out his career out lowly Swiss club FC Baulmes.
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