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Watch: Toulouse Manager Reduces Players To Tears With Incredible Pre-Game Speech

Watch: Toulouse Manager Reduces Players To Tears With Incredible Pre-Game Speech
By Gavan Casey
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Lying 10 points adrift of Ligue 1 safety with just 10 fixtures remaining, you probably could have forgiven Toulouse FC and their fans for turning their attention to a promotion battle from Ligue 2 next season.

Former striker Pascal Dupraz had other ideas.

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After three successive managerial spells at Évian, the 53-year-old Toulouse icon was approached to captain what amounted to a rapidly sinking ship. He replaced Alain Casanova, who had fought for eight years to establish Toulouse FC as a top division entity - finishing as high as 4th in 2009. Casanova, however, departed with the club teetering on the precipice of disappearing into the French football doldrums once more.

Dupraz's impact was immediate, with an electric Toulousaine outfit knocking Bordeaux - their arch rivals from up the Garonne River - for four in mid-March, this on the back of a more-than-decent 1-1 draw in Marseille. Another 4-0 home win would soon follow, Bastia the visitors on this occasion, but four wins and three draws from nine fixtures still presented le Téfécé with a do-or-die clash at high-flying Angers on the final day of the season.

It boiled down to this: If Stade Reims beat Lyon in their final fixture, Toulouse would have to win at Angers or face the dreaded drop.

And so came Dupraz's motivational speech on the eve of his side's relegation showdown, which is presumably why you came here in the first place. And trust me, it's worth it:



The clips of family members willing their fathers, uncles, brothers and sons to keep the rugby-mad city playing Ligue 1 football was all too much for some to bear, and it seemed as though it might backfire when Billy Ketkeophomphone gave Angers an early lead at Stade Jean-Bouin.

Meanwhile, Reims were putting a beat-down on Lyon in a game that would ultimately finish 4-1, so Toulouse were aware they needed to win to stay in the top flight.


And there's a reason why BT Sport chose Angers vs Toulouse as their Game of the Week. Here are the highlights:


21-year-old Yann Bodiger, on his 32nd ever senior appearance, scored his first ever goal - a stunner - to keep his side in Ligue 1. The great escape for Toulouse, masterminded by a club legend in Pascal Dupraz. A poetic ending to a turbulent season for the Le Tef.


The free-kick itself is worth another look, but so too are the travelling Toulouse fans who went simply apeshit in the far corner of the stand.


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