Newcastle United may only have had one representative at Euro 2016 but Moussa Sissoko is on his way to Sunday’s final in Paris.
Seen by many as lucky to even make the squad and not having started a match for France in over a year, the Newcastle midfielder started the tournament as a fringe player.
A couple of sub appearances and a start against Switzerland after France had qualified, Moussa Sissoko still didn’t look like playing any significant part in the tournament.
However, suspension for Kante meant a chance against Iceland and Moussa Sissoko helped France to a 5-2 quarter-final win against the players who knocked out England.
To the surprise of many/most, last night the Newcastle player kept his place and Kante had to settle for a place on the bench.
In case you haven’t heard, the game went pretty much like this – Germany totally dominated the first half but couldn’t get the goal, France scoring just before half-time thanks to a contested penalty. Then as Germany pressed in the second half, France counter-attacked and ended up with Griezmann scoring his and France’s second for a 2-0 victory – France the better side in that second period.
For Newcastle fans watching, it was all a bit surreal. On Tyneside all the talk has been about whether or not Moussa Sissoko will be sold, rather than whether he will be a key player for France in very likely winning the Euros.
Sissoko now looks nailed on to start in that final on Sunday but after that good-outstanding (depending on your view) performance last night, it was amusing to see the reaction from those in France, compared to those from a Newcastle perspective…
‘A consistently motivated Moussa Sissoko could be an asset to any side in the world…’ (GFFN – Get French Football News)
‘The off the ball work from Moussa Sissoko and Blaise Matuidi tonight has been absolutely awesome. Awesome.’ (GFFN)
‘Imagine having Sissoko in this kind of form every week? He’d be an absolute beast down that right hand side.’ (GFFN)
‘Moussa Sissoko will not play in Newcastle next season. Amazing game!’ (@F8Piraux – French journalist)
‘I genuinely think most of our fanbase would take 25 slaps to the dish for Moussa Sissoko, but we’re getting €25m for him instead. Radge!’ (@ssschtevvv)
‘THIS IS THE KIND OF PERFORMANCE MOUSSA SISSOKO PUTS IN EACH AND EVERY WEEK AND I FOR ONE WILL BE GUTTED IF LIVERPOOL FANS HEAR ABOUT IT.’ (@NUFCThreatLevel)
‘Moussa Sissoko’s tactical decision to take last season off may win him a move to Arsenal.’ (@APardewCPFC)
‘My kids are going to ask me how #nufc managed to have a player as good as Moussa Sissoko and I’ll have no idea what to say to them.’ (@JonathanComyn)
‘Who is the #fra number 18? He looks a bit like Moussa Sissoko but it’s obviously not the same player who played for #nufc last season.’ (@AndyKerrtv)
‘Moussa Sissoko most likely will win the Euros with France, maybe this means West Brom will actually buy him?!’ (@NUFCHub)
I think I am going for a WIN/WIN outcome, Moussa Sissoko and Newcastle United part company but Euro 2016 to have added £10m to his transfer fee – everybody happy.