The Tweed's French community will be cheering on Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy during the Socceroos World Cup opener against France tomorrow night.
The Tweed's French community will be cheering on Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy during the Socceroos World Cup opener against France tomorrow night. Scott Powick

World Cup clash all in the family

A FRENCH restaurant is throwing open its doors to soccer fans ahead of the crucial World Cup opener between the Socceroos and France tomorrow night.

3 Sea restaurant owners Damien Pigot and Sandy Mendy are inviting both sets of fans to come talk some banter and celebrate the start of the FIFA World Cup with the rest of the French community at their Tweed Heads restaurant.

The husband and wife duo will be setting up a TV out the back of their restaurant for anyone willing to join.

And it's no ordinary game for Ms Mendy, who will be cheering on her cousin Benjamin Mendy, the French superstar defender who signed for Manchester City last year for a world record transfer of $92 million.

The transfer fee was the highest ever paid for a defender.

Manchester City and France star Benjamin Mendy.
Manchester City and France star Benjamin Mendy.

Mendy, who spent most of his first season injured, is in the French squad but is expected to start on the bench against the Socceroos.

Ms Mendy said she wished her cousin well ahead of the clash.

"I wish him the best but I just heard this morning on the French news he won't play the whole match, which is a bit of a shame, but I hope he can come on and make an impact,” she said.

Ms Mendy said she expected France to win 3-0 but most of all wanted to see a "good game”.

Her husband, Damien, said he would be supporting France despite moving to Australia in 2002.

"Being in NSW we have to go for the blues, but it is all about having fun and we hope Australia finishes second in the group,” he said.

"It's all about being a fun game and having bragging rights. If Australia beats France they have huge bragging rights, if we win it's just small bragging rights.”

Mr Pigot said he also expected the game to end 3-0 for France but would be supporting the Socceroos during the rest of their World Cup journey.

"It would be nice if they won first in the group, but we have to keep expectations low and have high hopes,” he said.

"We are having a night at the back of the shop and we would like people to come at 6pm so we can talk some banter and celebrate.

"At the end of the day it's just a football game and some fun.”

The Socceroos will kick off their World Cup campaign against France at 8pm tomorrow night.

They head into the match as massive underdogs, with the star power of France expected to fire the team to the top of Group C and through to the knockout stages.

Australia, Peru and Denmark will likely fight for second place and the only other finals berth.



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