Special Envoy in Doha
His relationship with Deschamps :”We have always had good relations, even before the World Cup in 2018. After that there was no contact at all for two years until I returned in 2020. When I returned, we immediately talked, it went very well. At first I didn’t know what to expect, immediately there was a very good relationship and from election to election this relationship has really improved. He understands me better, knows my personality better. Today we are much closer.»
The Evolution of Deschamps :”It has evolved too, has its own little habits over time. He is calmer, he discusses some topics more easily with the current generation. Doing business with us is easier. He is very open, very calm, even during the World Cup. In 2016, I had a different eye, I was not looking at some details. Now I really see that he is open, easy in human relations, that’s important, and it plays on osmosis and the fact that everyone gets along.»
His presence in the media :”I don’t choose, I’ll stop you right away (laughs). We all have to go through it, well almost (four players have so far avoided the press conference exercise, including Kylian Mbappe, but also Benjamin Pawar and the two substitute goalkeepers, Steve Mandanda and Alphonse Areola, Ed). When I do it, it’s with pleasure, it’s good. It’s not my favorite exercise, but when things are going well, we also want to hear from the players, I understand that. There is improvement in your relationship.»
His view of England :”It’s a team that has the same qualities as us, with attacking full-backs, forward-looking midfielders, a good attack. I’m not sure we need to tell ourselves we need to do less. They will also be very careful because we can get them in trouble. It will be an open meeting, with great potential on both sides, with the desire to move forward. The difference can change the game, they are very good in this area, we also have weapons, but we have to be alert and not make mistakes like we did against Denmark. We are in no way inferior to the English, the midfield battle will be important.»
I am probably living the best period of my career.
If he was as he is today :”In terms of football, I am living a very good period. A few months in Juventus and this World Cup. It also comes from the fact that I have grown up, I have matured in my head and in my football. I am probably living the best period of my career. I have more maturity in all areas of the game, in concentration, with less slack time, I try to bring it offensively, I try to be decisive, I have the qualities for that. I believe in myself more. All this makes me a complete gamer.»
His physical transformation since moving to Juventus :”Physicality is important in order to reach my full potential I need to be physically fit. This is what I worked hard for during 4 seasons at Juventus. I felt this change quickly. It allows me to be active for 90 minutes and not slow down for a whole match. That’s what made me evolve before I had certain holes. This fact of being very physically fit also helps me technically and I can use my qualities to the maximum.»
His take on the positive feedback since the start of the World Cup. “I try to stay focused on my football, the competition and not spread myself too thin. We know it can go fast, one way or another, I’ve experienced it often. Of course, it’s nice to know me, but there was a time when I was subjected to a lot of criticism and I was not beaten. On the contrary, I’m not going to flare, but you have to admit that it’s nice.»
I’m quite free, I compensate behind Kylian, but I can project myself, make offensive and defensive runs.
If the debate over its position has tainted its progress :”We have talked about it too much. Once I stopped asking myself these questions, I felt better on the field. Currently, I am not limited to a midfield role, I am quite free, I compensate behind Kylian, but I can project myself, make offensive and defensive runs. The coach trusts me and sees that I am capable of doing it for 90 minutes. Being freer on the pitch and in my head allows me to express myself better.»
What excites him the most between the praises of the coach, the fans, the journalists? :”Journalists, because it is quite difficult to convince you (smiles). I have often been criticized, sometimes wrongly, in my opinion. It is a great recognition from that side. I did not always agree with what I heard, with the quality of my speeches. We all have different opinions. I am objective with myself, but sometimes it was tough. I’m trying to get everyone to agree on that.»
If after Juventus he is interested in England experience :”My experience at the age of 13 (Manchester City pre-training, editor’s note) was very good, even if I didn’t spend a year there. I felt very good in England, I really liked the atmosphere around football. It is something different than France or Italy. I’ve always said I’d like to play in England for the rest of my career, will that be after Juventus (his contract expires in 2024)? I do not know. But I have this goal: to play in the Premier League. In England, I don’t have a favorite team, but I am attracted above all by the level of the championship, the style of play, which corresponds more to my qualities.»
If dependence on Mbappe could be a problem :”We take that as a positive. He is focused on his goal, we do everything to put him in the best conditions. There is no dependence, he is a player with a very high potential. He speeds up, makes decisive passes, that is our main weapon. 80/90% of chances come on their own if other players can make a difference. But Killian is our weapon, we should not deprive ourselves of it.»
Statements made at the press conference
Source: Le Figaro
I am Dylan Hudson, a dedicated and experienced journalist in the news industry. I have been working for Buna Times, as an author since 2018. My expertise lies in covering sports sections of the website and providing readers with reliable information on current sporting events.