The scene of Zineddine Zidane & Co. dashing off to the salute of their fans after their nasty comeback victory over Spain was one of deep, righteous significance.
And you don't have to be a fan of Les Bleus to empathize.
See, it's difficult playing for France these days.
On the one hand, you've got to handle the attacks from opposing teams and their supporters. The fiery clash between France and Spain brought out pre-game ignorance from some Spanish fans, then some post-game ignorance from a disturbingly sizeable contingent of Espana's mainstream media.
And on the other hand, you've got to deal with an increasingly fickle, unappreciative crowd back at home. They just want you to shine.
Then there are those who just want you to be White. Far-(from)-Right politicos like archaic National Front attention-craver Jean Marie Le Pen has attributed general French apathy (sic) towards the current squad to the "disproportionate" numbers of "colored" players. A proud bespectacled man of color had something to say about that.