Ligue 1 - Cup heroes Mende do not mind anonymity

Seventh tier Mende are confronting the stark reality that victory in Tuesday's Coupe de France clash with Le Havre will mean the continuation of the public's love affair with the amateurs while defeat will signal a return to anonymity.

Ligue 1 - Cup heroes Mende do not mind anonymity

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Mende players celebrate after scoring during a Coupe de France match against Arles-Avignon (AFP)

Mende, from southern France, are the darlings of the French media after becoming the lowest club ever to reach the last 32 of the competition after dumping out Ligue 2 side Arles-Avignon in the previous round.

However, they know they will not be remembered for long if they lose at home against second division Le Havre, the oldest French professional club.

"Cameras are all turned towards us, the club and the town. We have to enjoy it but we're fully aware that we'll return to anonymity when we'll be eliminated," coach Stephane Saurat told Reuters.

"But it's no worries for us. Being amateurs means we're not 100 percent focused on football. All the guys have a job or are still students," added Saurat, who has led his team to the top of their league with 11 wins in as many games.

Still, goalkeeper Destin Onka hopes the French Cup spotlight will help him revive his dream of turning professional.

The 24-year-old, who has one cap for the Republic of Congo and won the Under-20 African Nations Cup with his national team in 2007, joined Mende two years ago after he failed to take his chance at Auxerre in 2009.

"It's a bit complicated when you're on your own. In football, you need a little luck. I am able to go higher but I have to work for it," the goalkeeper said.

"You have to make choices in your life. Being there, in the French Cup, it's a little light in the dark. It's up to me to work and keep growing."

While many eyes will be on amateurs Mende, others will focus on Wednesday's match between Paris St Germain and Toulouse, the most intriguing of the three matches between Ligue 1 sides.

Hosts PSG, who reclaimed top spot in the league on Sunday when they won 1-0 at Bordeaux thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal, will be without the Sweden striker as he is suspended after picking up three bookings in 10 matches.

French champions Montpellier take on Sochaux earlier the same day at home and Nice host Ligue 1 basement side Nancy.

Record 10-times winners Marseille face a tricky trip to third tier Rouen, who eliminated Ligue 1 side Ajaccio on penalties in the last 64.

The encounter and a few others were still at risk of being postponed after the weekend's heavy snowfall in France.

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