Lille & Marseille interested in Adrien Thomasson (Strasbourg)

France Football report that Marseille and Lille are amongst a host of clubs interested in acquiring the services of 26-year-old French central midfielder Adrien Thomasson from Strasbourg.

Under contract until 2021, Thomasson has shown an ability to play skilfully across the midfield, having scored eight goals and laid on two assists so far this season.

OM will be forced to turn towards players they can acquire inexpensively this summer, and with a little over 12 months remaining on his current deal, Thomasson fits that mould, with André Villas-Boas praising the player publicly at the end of January.

Click Here: Cactus Flowers Forever Stamps 2019

PSG open extension talks with Layvin Kurzawa & Thiago Silva

Our colleagues at Foot Mercato report that PSG Sporting Director Leonardo has in recent days made somewhat of a u-turn in opening contract extension conversations with French international left-back Layvin Kurzawa and club captain Thiago Silva, both of who’s deals expire in June.

Having initially wanted to see the back of both players, Leo has now begun conversations with the pair to extend their stays at PSG. However, Kurzawa remains on the fence about this, with him looking into the possibility of making a move abroad. Leo was convinced to reopen these conversations in part because of the expected mess to the upcoming transfer window that COVID-19 will cause, but also because post-January the Frenchman has proved he can perform as an admirable understudy to Juan Bernat.

Silva has on the other hand been very keen to extend his stay in the French capital, but it remains to be seen what sort of deal Leonardo is offering the 35-year-old, both in terms of length and whether there will be a wage drop.

Click Here: PSG Jordan soccer tracksuit

PROSPECT | Gabriel Magalhães

Among names like Chouiar, Camavinga, and Osimhen – players who have experienced extraordinary breakout campaigns in Ligue 1 this year – there is one that seems certain to surface in a different country come next season. Gabriel dos Santos Magalhães is that name, and after numerous reports linking the 22-year-old defender to Premier League clubs like Everton, Arsenal, and Chelsea, the central defender’s potential departure from Lille feels imminent.

But, is Gabriel, with less than two full seasons of Ligue 1 under his belt, worthy of the hype and the €30m valuation that has been floating around? His physical attributes, ability on the ball, and unique profile make a compelling case that yes, Gabriel deserves the attention that he has been receiving from old and new admirers alike. 

Recently dubbed a “colossus” by freelance writer Romain Molina, Gabriel is an impressively imposing figure in Lille’s defence. At 1.90m, the central defender is well-equipped to deal with some of Ligue 1’s more physical forwards like Júlio Tavares and Moussa Dembélé. Usually alongside 36-year-old José Fonte in a central defensive pairing, Gabriel is fittingly mobile, as his Portuguese partner does not have the same pace and acceleration that he had at the peak of his powers. Additionally, Gabriel excels in utilising his physical attributes effectively, as the defender is as capable of bullying opponents off the ball in shoulder-to-shoulder challenges as he is gaining advantageous positions when jostling in aerial duels.

The pairing of José Fonte and Gabriel has proven beneficial both to the team’s defensive solidity as well as to the development of the 22-year-old, something Gabriel spoke to with L’Équipe: 

“As soon as José arrived at the club he spoke with me. He encouraged me to work hard and to make the most of the opportunity that would come one day. He taught me a lot, on and off the pitch.”

Fonte, very much the elder statesman and club captain of Lille, has taken this mentorship role in stride, repeatedly stating that one of his primary duties is indeed to “to show the way to the young kids we have.” If Gabriel is to leave for England, this experience of playing alongside and learning from a model professional with over 300 appearances in the Premier League would certainly ease the difficulties of adaptation that the Brazilian would face. 

In fact, transformation and change are two things not entirely new to Gabriel. At the age of just 13, the young Brazilian left his home of São Paulo for the first time to join Avaí FC, his first professional club. Almost 700 kilometres south of São Paulo, it was in Florianópolis where Gabriel experienced cold and homesickness for the first time. A week after his arrival the young defender had already returned home.

While back in São Paulo, Gabriel’s father encouraged him to reconsider this unique opportunity that he had – one that many hopeful teenagers from his area and background are not afforded. After two weeks of reflection, Gabriel left home for the second time, this time for good. Three years later, Gabriel’s sacrifices and hard work were rewarded with his first professional contract at just 16. Fast-forward two more years and at 18 the defender had already made his first first-team appearance for Avaí, scoring his first goal to boot! 

As a centre-back for Christophe Galtier’s Lille, Gabriel sees a lot of the ball. On average, the 22-year-old completes the most passes per 90 for Les Dogues and is also the primary passing outlet when the team’s electric attackers try to beat an offside trap or break past opposing defenders. The likes of Nicolas Pépé, Jonathan Ikoné, and Victor Osimhen have all been on the receiving-end of Gabriel’s over-the-top long balls that attempt to find the streaking forwards. 

Such an ability, as well as Gabriel’s defensive contributions, essentially ousted former club captain Adama Soumaoro – now at Genoa – from Lille. It was Soumaoro’s thigh injury, suffered in February of 2019, that offered Gabriel his first-team chance, and, in following Fonte’s advice, Gabriel made the most of it. When Soumaoro returned to fitness his Brazilian counterpart had usurped him, his starting spot undeniably handed over to the colossus from São Paulo. 

Click Here: Mercedes Racing Suit

With his future almost assuredly elsewhere, it will be interesting to see how Gabriel’s career develops. From leaving his family at 13 to moving to France at 19, it is evident that the young Brazilian is confident, ambitious, and adaptable. His time in Ligue 1 made evident his abilities on the ball and his physical dominance, two qualities that will surely make him a welcome addition to whichever club might win the race for his signature this summer.


Montpellier midfielder Junior Sambia in intensive care with COVID-19 symptoms

23-year-old Montpellier midfielder Junior Sambia is in an intensive care unit with digestive & respiratory problems, described as COVID-19-like symptoms, according to L’Équipe.

The midfielder was initially admitted to hospital on Monday morning with concerning symptoms, which appear to have gotten worse as he was moved to an intensive care unit on Thursday.

The thoughts of the Get French Football News family are with Sambia and his loved ones during his very difficult time.

Click Here: Gaskets & Insulators

RC Lens set to land 20-year-old Le Havre central defender Loïc Badé

RMC Sport and L’Équipe report that newly promoted to Ligue 1 side, RC Lens, are on the verge of closing a deal to sign 20-year-old central defender Loïc Badé from Ligue 2 outfit Le Havre.

Click Here: Ruben Dias Jersey Sale

Lens are in advanced talks with Badé over an initial 3-year professional contract, with an option to extend for a further year, he is still on a youth deal with current club Le Havre and his current contract is expiring in June.

Badé has played only 7 matches in Ligue 2 this season, but is hot property on the domestic market, with St Étienne also tracking his progress closely and their recruitment team having been impressed by his maturity at such a young age.

At the moment, RCL clearly lead the race. Badé was turned down by youth academies at Sochaux, OGC Nice, Rennes and PSG earlier in his youth career and looks poised to get the opportunity to prove them all wrong.

L’Équipe report that Montpellier, OGC Nice and Strasbourg are also vying for his signature.

Nathalie Boy de la Tour hits out at certain Ligue 1 presidents for the “testosterone” filled response to 2019/20 season cancellation

Speaking in a press conference this afternoon, LFP President Nathalie Boy de la Tour hit out at certain Ligue 1 presidents who have in recent hours jockeyed to try to find ways of completing the 2019/20 season anyway, despite the French government announcement that the season could not be picked up again, which occurred on Tuesday.

“We have found it do be quite indecent, the cacophony, when we are talking about 20,000 deaths in France (owing to COVID-19). You know, we are in a world where there is a lot of testosterone, lots of ideas, sporting tensions, a desire to do things, to contribute to the collective debate. There were some slightly tense moments. I hope that things from now on are going to be clearer.”

Click Here: Raphael Varane Jersey Sale

“We have inventive types in professional football, presidents with lots of ideas, ego. We have a governing body that is not in its rightful position, that is something I am taking from this. We need a governing body that is more compact, one unified club union, to simplify our rules, that is work that we must undertake.”

Angers winger Farid El Melali put in police custody for sexual exhibitionism

Le Parisien report that 22-year-old Algerian international and Ligue 1 side Angers winger Farid El Melali was brought into police custody today, accused of sexual exhibitionism.

The player admitted guilt and was able to head home. He will shortly be judged in the context of a pre-conviction appearance, the equivalent of a guilty plea. He faces a fine.

On the night between Monday 4th May and Tuesday 5th May, neighbours were surprised to find the player masturbating in the courtyard of his building, located in downtown Angers, while looking into the home of a neighbour located on the ground floor. 

Click Here: Gws Giants Guernsey

They then called the police who arrested him. This is the second time he has been reported for similar acts, according to a police source. For his defence, his lawyers are putting forward the idea that the Angers player thought that his female neighbour could not see him.

On Monday, it was announced that El Melali had extended his contract with Angers until 2023.

Exclusive | Mathieu Peybernes: “Playing in England for many French footballers, like for me, is a dream.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Get French Football News, 29-year-old French central defender Mathieu Peybernes, currently contracted to Almeria but on loan at Spanish 2nd division side CD Lugo, discussed his lengthy career to date including experiences at FC Lorient, SC Bastia and Sochaux.

N.B. This interview was conducted on April 24th.

How are things going in Lugo?

Well like for everyone else things have been a little complicated. We’ve been in quarantine for a number of weeks now so we’re trying to stay at home and to go out as little as possible. I have two kids so sometimes it can be a little difficult to keep them occupied but for the most part things are going well.

I have to keep in good shape even if it’s just training at home and not the regular physical training. But we don’t have too much of a choice and it’s for the well-being of everyone.

In Lugo can you go out for a run or exercise outside?

No not yet. The rules of quarantine in Spain are pretty strict, even more so than in France. For example, you can’t go outside even to go for a jog or for anything like that. However, from the 27th of April you will be able to go outside if you have kids that are younger than 12 years old. So yeah, it’s been difficult to not go out and walk or bike with the kids. We can’t do much!

And as a professional footballer in Spain – I’m not sure if you’ve been following the situation in England – but in England for example there has been a lot of pressure on the footballers to reduce their salaries. Is it similar in Spain?

Yeah, we agreed to alter our contracts. The club pays us only 30% of our salary but this enables a fair bit of the other employees of the club and their salaries to be saved and kept in place. So, for us, “The Footballers,” we can at least make an effort to receive a little less money so that those that work for the club that make less, that are in a more difficult position, can benefit from these changes.

We were the ones who asked for this change because we know that for the club it’s difficult too. In Spain, because of all this, there’s also a lot of pressure from La Liga to restart the season.

Of course, your career began in Toulouse where you were born. I wanted to know what the Toulousain football scene there was like in the 2000s? Is it similar now?

Well there’s a big difference in the fact that football is even more covered and broadcasted now than it was back then. Nowadays the clubs are looking for younger players earlier and earlier. When I was coming up there were very few players who signed professional contracts at 18, 19 years old. That was much rarer.

Now we see 15, 16 years old signing big contracts and sponsorship deals. In this sense football has evolved a lot. You also see the inclusion of young players – like Mbappé when he was coming up – and how that has changed recruitment. Scouts and technical directors are looking for these youngsters as early as possible because it’s become like a competitive business. It’s definitely changed a lot. 

And if I’m not wrong you joined Sochaux at 14 years old. At such a young age you move away from your house, your loved ones, comfort, all of that. How does a young player like those we see today experience this sort of change?

Well I think everyone lives it in different ways. For me, from 12, I had already been in a training structure that took place during the week, so I was only at home for the weekends. That was from 12 to 14. Then, like you said, at 14, I moved nearly 1000km from home. Between Toulouse and Sochaux there were a lot of big differences like the climate and the mentality.

To be honest it was pretty difficult to adapt at the beginning. The first six, eight months were not easy. I rarely saw my family because back then we didn’t have all the ways to connect virtually like FaceTime, so I didn’t call them much. So, of course at this age, it’s not easy to be so far from your family. There are some players that have a really hard time, who after one year have to go back home, so yes, it’s definitely a difficult sacrifice. 

Of course, with the climate of the South I can imagine it’s hard to adapt!

Exactly. When I was at Toulouse, for example, if there was just a little bit of snow I wouldn’t go to school. And then in Sochaux there was 20, 30 centimetres of snow and it was very cold too! But you adapt over time.

To be recruited by Sochaux at such a young age is quite impressive. How did you react to being recruited by one of the best academies in France?

Well immediately Sochaux was attractive to me partially because of this reputation that the club has with its academy. There have always been very talented players that come from Sochaux’s academy and even if the club is currently in Ligue 2 it’s still one of the biggest creators and providers of players that go to the most important clubs. There’s definitely a label that goes with Sochaux and its academy.

All this appealed to me because the goal was to grow and learn and it’s a unique, historic club that at the time was playing in the UEFA Cup with players like Pierre-Alain Frau and (Francileudo Silva) Dos Santos. What was also notably important in the decision was the schooling. It’s an academy that’s well-structured for football, but the focus on school was also very important for me.

When I talked with the director of the academy and all the others involved in the centre it was all positive. They were warm, decent people and that was important too. 

I imagine, too, that being recruited by Sochaux was a sort of validation for the level of talent you had already at 14.

Absolutely. At the time, being noticed by Sochaux was huge. It was really the club in France that you wanted to be discovered by. It was the “fashionable” club so to speak. It was definitely gratifying, the fact that I was performing well enough to be recruited by Sochaux. 

When you were there did you feel a sort of pressure to continue this tradition of success?

Well at the academy centre there is a big, old castle and in the salon of the castle you can see all the trophies won by the players that came through the academy and that have played for the various levels of the French national team and have played for the biggest clubs.

Right away, then, there’s a bit of pressure put in place, but you know that these are really the best of the best from the academy. There’s a lot of players that are well-known that have come through Sochaux. And you feel that there’s a certain demanding nature that I perhaps didn’t sense at other clubs that I had visited at the time. 

And with all these players that have come through Sochaux, as you mentioned, you’ve got names like (Ivan) Perišić, (Marvin) Martin, (Ryad) Boudebouz, and (Yacine) Brahimi.

Was there, at that time, a teammate that really made a mark on you or impressed you?

I had the chance to play with Ryad (Boudebouz) a lot as we were from the same generation and age group so he, technically, was something else. He was always outclassing and improving, he was always the phenomenon of our generation. He was memorable. Another impressive player was Ivan Perišić.

He arrived directly from Croatia, a bit late, but we immediately saw that he was a player who could be put anywhere – central defender, midfielder, attacker, really any position – he was always comfortable. He was always impressive, and now he’s played in the biggest clubs. He’s a player that everyone knows and for me he’s got all the qualities of a modern footballer. 

Well you’ve of course played in the centre of defence for most of your career. However, your first appearance in Ligue 1 was as a right midfielder. Do you attribute some of your success to this sort of tactical flexibility?

(Laughs) Yeah, it’s true that I played as a right midfielder for my first match at Rennes with Francis Gillot. But I’ve had most of my success as a central defender. I think this role fits in more with my qualities but the last few years I’ve also played as a defensive midfielder or even as a full-back.

I’ve never had an issue with these sorts of changes I think thanks to the training and forming I had at Sochaux. Nowadays I have the “luxury” and the luck to play in a number of systems, so I don’t have any issue with playing in a back three, to play left or right-back, and that’s thanks to the training and schooling of Sochaux.

And were you shocked when Gillot (the manager) told you that you’d be playing right midfielder that day?

(Laughs) A little, yeah. I was a little surprised. It was my first appearance in Ligue 1 after a few times on the bench without entering the match. This time, the coach wanted to hold the scoreline, so he wanted to substitute in a right midfielder more so to defend.

But yes, I was a little surprised when he told me I would be a right midfielder. (Laughs) I did what was asked of me. I must have played five, ten minutes but I felt like I had played an hour and a half! It was my first good memory in Ligue 1. 

Well speaking of tactical flexibility, in modern football it’s something that’s popular. In your opinion, are there any risks in going too far? Maybe to not specialise in any specific role?

I think so. It’s actually a problem I had once in my career. I knew that I wanted to be a central defender, but I was often used as a right-back because I was quick and solid defensively. I think you can get to a point where you need to focus and fix yourself on a position so that you can always play a similar role to gain experience and to master this position faster.

I would say that you never completely master a role, but the more you play in a position, the more you have automatic reflexes and become comfortable doing certain things. Nowadays it’s good to have a certain level of versatility and adaptability but there comes a time where you need to settle into a specific position.

So, did you always want to play in the centre of defence?

Well like everyone, not really, no. I wanted to be more of an attacker but from 13 I realised that I like playing in defence, I like the duels, I like physicality, I like winning the ball back. I really get a lot of pleasure from defending. Like an attacker enjoys scoring goals, I enjoy winning a duel.  

And back in the 2000’s when you were growing as a central defender there were quite a few choices if you wanted to watch the art of defence. Did you follow a specific player back then?

Like a lot of French people there isn’t a specific defender that sticks with me, but for example there’s Carles Puyol whose mentality I admired. He was a player who was maybe a little less technically gifted than his teammates but his grinta, his energy, his leadership, and his charisma were impressive.

There was also Laurent Blanc and Marcel Desailly. For me it was a pleasure to watch them play because I think that the role of central defender requires a partner that you communicate with very well. If you have two defenders with enormous quality but who don’t get along well together, it just doesn’t work. You have to find a balance. So, I’ve always been a fan of the Laurent Blanc-Marcel Desailly pairing.

When you were with Sochaux you were a leader too, be it when still in the academy or with the first-team when you were older. What was it like for you to wear the captain’s armband of the club? 

Well it wasn’t like a completion of something, but it was still very significant. I wore the armband at the Vélodrome against Olympique de Marseille, so it was also a big match. It was a big source of pride, not just for me but also for my family that I was grateful for. It came from the sacrifices that we were able to make. We often talk about the players, but the family of the players make enormous sacrifices too!

They lose a big part of our youth and the family moments that they would have had. So, it was a big pride for me and my family and a big gratification for all the work and my application and dedication. I’m someone that – off the pitch – I put in a lot of work. It’s important if you want to play football at the highest level. Wearing the armband was an important moment in my career that I’m proud of. 

It’s clear that you had some good years in Sochaux. But in 2014, after the relegation of the club in 2014, you came to an agreement to terminate your contract. Then you rediscover a good climate! This time in Bastia.. How did it feel?

You’re right. I spent a long time at Sochaux – about nine years. It was the first time that I was going to a different club, on an island, with different conditions. It was my first time outside of Sochaux! It was all new for me, like I was starting all over again. But honestly, things went really well. I received a really warm welcome.

Bastia is not just a historic, but also a distinctive club in France. I mean, it’s a club on an island with very passionate supporters. The two years I spent there went by very fast. I only have good memories from my time with the club. 

And with the club’s league finishes (10th and 12th) as well as playing in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, do you think these two years were the best sporting period of your career thus far?

I think so, yes. I had two successive seasons where I played more than 35 matches. And for the final, we were able to bring all the supporters from this small island to the Stade de France. For a city like Bastia that was pretty exceptional. Also, the style of play of the team matched well with my qualities as a footballer. We had a good group that knew what to do with the ball. 

And then in the January transfer window of 2017 you were sold to Lorient. At the time Bastia was near the bottom of the table. In the dressing room, between the players, could you feel the oncoming crisis a bit? 

I think there was a little bit of “pressure” to leave. The club had accepted an offer from Lorient, and I was a little surprised. I thought that they counted on me and that I was an important player who they didn’t want to let go. Unfortunately, it came to pass because the club, at the time, and its directors were in financial difficulty and we’ve seen since then, sadly, how that ended up. At the club you could feel that things were starting to get a little complicated financially and would worsen even further if we were to be relegated.

Have you continued to follow the club and its efforts to recover?

Yes of course! I’m still in contact with the directors of the club and with some of the players. I still feel very attached to Bastia because of the two and a half years I spent there. Like I said I only have good memories from my time there even if things ended a little poorly. I have a lot of love and respect for the club, the people, and the directors, most notably for what they’re trying to do to get the club back to the highest level.

Did you enjoy playing in front of this sort of passionate fanbase?

When you’re a Bastia player you know it’s not the biggest stadium in the world nor the stadium with the biggest attendance. However, it’s a stadium where there’s heart, an ambiance, something that you don’t see at all the other clubs. The people there are truly passionate. You can tell that they can hardly wait every 15 days for the next Sporting match. When you live there and when you’re walking in town you see how unique it is. The people of Bastia are really behind the players and that makes for a special atmosphere every home match.

And then at Lorient you joined a club that was already having a hard time competitively as shown by its position in Ligue 1.

What sort of mentality or what sort of feeling does a player have when you get to a club that’s at risk to find itself in a relegation battle come April and May?

When I arrived, Lorient were 20th but it’s a club that’s really well-structured. Compared to Bastia, for example, Lorient has a training centre that’s really nice. The President, Loïc Féry, has done a good job. The facilities are great, the club has a nice stadium, and it’s a club that’s got heart.

However, when talking about mentality at the time, I think Lorient might have had a little less character. It’s definitely difficult to arrive at a club that’s last in the league. But it was a team with some enormous quality even if they went down. I think that maybe with a bit more confidence and more character we might have been able to stay up in Ligue 1.

And in France, between Corsica and Brittany, you’ve lived in some regions that are very proud, very unique. Do you enjoy living in this sort of culture?

Yeah, I really do. When it comes to the quality of life things weren’t really comparable. There’s of course a lot of tourists on vacation at Bastia but the way of living is nice. You kind of feel like you’re always on vacation (laughs) with all the sun and the kindness of all the people there.

Another thing that’s really important for a player is the happiness of his family. If his family isn’t living well then it can affect the player, a little like what happened in Turkey. Everything needs to be together so that a footballer can succeed. But it’s true, I’ve lived in some beautiful regions in France. 

Right. And you mentioned Turkey, where you were loaned the summer after (Göztepe). What did you think of the culture surrounding football over there?

In Turkey they’re truly fanatics. You can tell that they live for football. You can’t walk in town because so many people stop you! They’re respectful of course but they really love football. Some of them maybe do not have a lot of money to go eat because they prefer to buy a seat for all the matches. They live, sleep, eat the game. They’re very loyal to their club and their team.

I saw even on the messages you sent out on Twitter the number of supporters that were responding. It was incredible! And you were there for just about four months with your family?

Yes, I’m very family oriented so I always want to have my family and my kids with me. It wasn’t always easy for them to be there because of the cultural differences like the language and the importance of religion. My son had some difficulty at school because there were no French schools where we were living. It was fairly difficult and also the club had some difficulty in paying its players. In the end I preferred to cut the loan short.

So then in January you go to Eupen in Belgium where you meet up with Claude Makélélé who was also your manager in Bastia. How did all this moving around affect you?

It was difficult. For my partner and my kids, it wasn’t easy. It definitely was a lot of moving and I had never changed clubs this much. I had gone from spending nine years at Sochaux to changing clubs twice in six months. It was a little bizarre for me professionally, too.

And what was it like to play under Claude Makélélé at Eupen?

Well I had the chance to play against him when he was winding down his career in Paris. Then just a few years later he was my manager at Bastia! He called me when he heard things weren’t going all that well in Turkey and I responded immediately because it’s Makélélé, a legend. It was always a pleasure to be coached by him because of the experience he had accumulated during his career and all the trophies he had won. It was an honour for me to be coached by Claude Makélélé.

And then more recently you moved to Spain first with a loan to Gijón. How’s it going in Galicia now with Lugo (who currently sit 20th)?

Things are going well. On a personal level the season has been interesting. I’ve had the honour to be designated player of the month three times by the supporters which has been rewarding. On a more collective level it’s been a bit more mixed. There are times where we go on a good run of form and times when we go on poorer runs. I would like the results to be better especially with our good team. But it’s true that at least personally the season has been decent so far and things are going fairly well.

And at this point you’ve adapted well to the style of play in Spain?

It’s definitely a different style from what I experienced in France and in Turkey. We focus more on the ball, things are a bit more tactical, and maybe a bit faster too.

As you said you enjoy the style of play in Spain – spending more time on the ball as a defender – do you want to stay there so you can keep playing like this?

It depends. There are a lot of clubs abroad that have this style of play too. When you see Guardiola at Manchester City or Leeds with Bielsa these are clubs that want a style that focuses on possession and playing with the ball. There are many clubs in other leagues that like this sort of football too. It would be nice to continue to play with teams that emphasise this style of play.

You’re loaned by Almería who are currently third in the Spanish 2nd division. Of course, we’ll see how things play out for the rest of the season but if the club is promoted do you think you’ll be playing in Almería next season?

Well things became a little complicated with one of the new owners of the club. I had signed before the new owner came in. He “moved on” all the players who had been brought in under the previous management, so a lot depends on what he wants to do.

I’m in contact with my agent and with the club to try to figure out how things are going and where I’ll be playing in the future. Obviously, I hope that the club is promoted because they’ve earned it given the context of the season. But I’m not too sure what’ll happen in the immediate future given the situation. 

And for what’s to come, do you hope to play in France again someday?

Honestly, for the moment, no. I’m not longing to return to France. Throughout my career I’ve been able to discover different countries, different cultures, and I think it’s beneficial for a footballer to see what it’s like in other parts of the world. Different ways of working, different ways of life. But, if there’s a good opportunity in France I would of course rethink but at least for now I don’t have a goal to return to France.

Got it. So, is the goal instead to stay in Spain or maybe, as you mentioned, go to England? Does playing in England interest you with all the teams that are playing more possession-based football?

Of course. The French have always had a notable connection with England. Playing there for many French footballers, like for me, is a dream. Along with La Liga, the Premier League is one of the best competitions in the world and as a competitive professional you always want to test yourself in the best competitions. If the opportunity to go play in England presents itself then I would be interested.

I imagine with all the changes and loans you and your family have experienced over the last few years that you’d like to settle somewhere more than you have recently.

Exactly. What I’ll be looking for more than before is stability. A club with a project, with some stability, where I can play for at least three or four years would be great. 

With all the changes, too, I bet that your kids can maybe speak some additional languages and have learned some things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Yes, all these cultural differences have definitely been enriching for the kids. Now my oldest son can speak Spanish perfectly and he understands English really well too. For him, even if sometimes it can be difficult, I think that his future has benefitted from all this. My second son is still very young, but he understands and speaks Spanish, so for them this has allowed them to experience different cultures and this can give them ideas for the future as well!


Click Here: Gws Giants Guernsey

Official | Montpellier extend 42-year-old defender Hilton’s contract

Ligue 1 side Montpellier have this afternoon announced the contract extension of 42-year-old Brazilian central defender Hilton.

The veritable legend of French football will be in his 44th year next season, with his previous contract set to expire next month.

Click Here: Tonga Rugby Shop

This deal represents his ninth contract with Montpellier since joining them in 2011. He played 33 matches in the 2019/20 campaign, having played 31 of those games in their entirety.

Hilton has 321 appearances for the club and is currently the sixth most capped player in Montpellier history.

“Vito” had the following say upon the announcement:

“This is the best one because I think that this will be the last so for me this is the best one, no doubt. It is even more than a dream, I had wanted to get to 40 and now to have the opportunity to still be playing at 43 at the highest level, it is exceptional for me. I am going to enjoy it to the maximum.”