Browse all

Swag à la française

New Sport Side

Swag à la française New Sport Side

The etymology of the word 'swag' has been discussed a lot. For some it was an acronym used by gay clubs in the '60s (Secretly We Are Gay), for others it might mean "Stuff We All Get." There are those who date the first use of the term to Shakespeare - and in that case it would result from swagger - and who still connect the contemporary meaning to the text of Jay Z All I Need, and then at a certain attitude of the American ghettos. 

However, what is certain is that the Internet has greatly contributed to its spread, perhaps by altering its original meaning, surely defining swag as the status quo of some. With the historic exercise of these they can be constantly found French footballers.

Eric Cantona was probably the first example of "swag" at a certain level. A crystalline talent, epitome of genius and recklessness, with a gascon attitude and always with the collar turned up, Cantona has blessed the legacy of the number seven in Manchester United's history with a swag almost unparalleled - continued even after the football activity, including the actor and advertising career. It was then the turn of Thierry Henry, who has translated the concept to another level, the elegance, speed and sophistication. An intellectual swag, if I may say.

Until reaching the current French selection, which after years of purgatory, between sexual scandals and mutinies, has begun to shine during their European home. But the roosters not only shine for compactness and sport scores. As one of the youngest team in the competition (but not only for this) France can safely be classified in first place in a possible swag podium. The reason is partly due to hip hop - which also has important roots in France - partly due to French peculiarities.

There are four reasons to assign this particular award to Deschamps team.


Paul Pogba

It starts of course from here, from what is probably the player with more swag in the world and that does nothing but strengthen it move by move. In the beginning it was the way he move around the field, he seemed almost to dance. Then came the real dance itself, the dab, who he first imported to Italy and with more conviction showed to Europe. The dab dance has become his celebration reference, and last winter his social media (and those of Paulo Dybala) have been substantially invaded by that contemporary icon gesture. At the end it came the signing with adidas, received with great enthusiasm by Pusha-T, and the coronation of Complex, to which Paul said "the signing with adidas is more than a simple matter of field, I want to leave my mark on the culture". Definitely he left his mark on Drake. Few weeks ago the Canadian was immortalized with the pink jersey of Juventus (with the adidas symbol obscured, he’s a Jordan man), with the jersey number 10 by Paul Pogba. It was an official investiture and kingdom just begun.


Antoine Griezmann

The most influential pop/rap artist of the moment must, inevitably, affect the choice of the most swag players of the moment. Among them, a special place belongs to Antoine Griezmann, 25 year-old Alsatian by the smart look and elegant demeanor that has earned the starting spot after a career as predestined. After the important goal to Ireland in the second round, Griezmann celebrated in the most swag possible after dab dance: miming dance of  Drake's Bling Hotline. No, Antoine is chronically behind the times (which now suggest another Canadian smash "One Dance") but uses this celebration for a long time, especially to Atletico Madrid, his club team. Not only that, a few months ago he showed on his Instagram account a tattoo identical to that of Chris Brown, just inspired by that of the R&B singer. He’s also a huge NBA fan and street style that revolves around it. Despite the exaggerated enthusiasm is not exactly one of swag characteristics, Antoine fails to decline around with incredible style it is impossible not to keep in mind in a list of swag players. 


Anthony Martial

Two notes would be enough to identify Anthony Martial as a footballer by the huge swag: he was the highest paid teenagers in football history and then, of course, of Manchester United (he will then pair with Zlatan next year, another point in his favor), and has been invested by Nike as its next face of the company. He is also a Foot Locker ambassador in Europe, proving to be a decent sneaker-head, able to extricate difficult differences between sneaker names and gloves of the American brand.


Giroud & Gignac

With Karim Benzema out of the race for the striker position, it has become a bargain at two of between Olivier Giroud and Pierre-Andre Gignac. Both can bring to the table good arguments, both from a purely competitive point of view and from that of swag. If only by his first name, Gignac brought along a natural coolness in everything he does. Imagine when he chooses to say no to big European clubs to go to the Mexican sun, playing with Tigres, scoring avalanche of goals and return to his homeland, invoked by popular acclaim. All this taking into account his gypsy descent, which makes Gignac one of the fiercest players in this European.

On the other side of the ford: Olivier Giroud. Born close to the Alps,  striker of the really glamour Arsenal, Giroud is beautiful, stylish, enough to end up on the cover of ELLE (on the occasion of the Brasilian 2014 World Cup). But more than his style is his way of playing to be swag and has supply France two aces in the role of striker.