Ligue 1 (32nd day). Paris SG – Olympique de Marseille, this Sunday (8:45 PM)
You have played eleven Clasico. Did you enjoy playing these matches?
Yes, because it remains a game apart, we feel the tensions, between the two clubs, the supporters. When you enter the warm-up, you feel the electricity, it’s crazy! It pushes, it motivates, we see that we should not miss it.
Didn’t the arrival of the Qataris take some of the tension out of this Clasico?
The Clasico has changed because it is now the journalists who create this tension. It wasn’t necessary before, she was already there.
Who was the strongest player you saw in a Clasico?
Let’s say Ronaldinho. He loved these atmospheres and he added a little more to these matches. But there was also Okocha in the Park in 1998. We won 2-1 and he had his World Cup special done on Blondeau.
If there’s a fight, it’s 1-0 to Paris and on arrival we win. It saved me. Otherwise it seemed like it was my fault as I was a Parisian…
There are two more pictures of you in a Clasico. The first is this goal on March 9, 2003 during a shooting at the Vélodrome…
Everyone is talking about that game, but the first fifteen minutes was difficult. But once I opened the score, Ronaldinho showed all his talent and we won 3-0. That day it was 15 years ago that PSG had won at the Vélodrome.
Is this goal high on your list?
Yes, it’s an instinctive goal. It may not be the prettiest, but since it’s an important match, we’ll talk more about it. When you perform well in these matches, the impact is multiplied by ten.
The second image is your red card in 2000 with OM after a tough tackle on Laurent Leroy and the ensuing altercation between you…
The priority in these matches is intensity. People who watch a Clasico don’t watch a football match, they watch a fight. You have to win the duels first. If we look at the Clasico, there were hardly any good matches. There were none in the 1990s, and not many in the 2000s. Now it’s starting to disinfect. But look at the Champions League, if you don’t put in intensity, you won’t get very far. What saved me was that we won 4-1. If there’s a fight, it’s 1-0 to Paris and on arrival we win. It saved me. Otherwise it seemed like it was my fault because I was a Parisian… It’s not much to play for in a Clasico.
In 2003, the coach (Luis Fernandez) was accompanied by bodyguards throughout the game because he received death threats. It was funny, we laughed about it, but that game was very tense.
What was your hottest Clásico?
The one where we won 3-0 (in 2003). The coach (Luis Fernandez) was accompanied by bodyguards throughout the game because he received death threats. It was funny, we laughed about it, but that game was very tense. From the hotel we had to go out through a door at the back.
You shuttled between the two clubs twice. Is a Clasico following a transfer from one to the other more complicated?
What was complicated was when I returned to PSG, on loan from OM. I was annoyed by the supporters. We met with them and they told me they were playing ten. They said: “He’s from the Public Prosecution Service, he’s on loan”. I said to myself, “They still go far! †
In 2003, the supporters got on the bus, they thought they had boarded the OM bus. So they said to us, “Come on, we have to win! At that point it makes you laugh.
You played for OM and PSG. How was this match experienced in the two cities?
In Marseille, it is impossible not to prepare. They talk about it all the time. Paris is the capital, people don’t just talk about football. But on both sides there is only one result that should not be announced, and that is defeat.
Which story stood out to you?
In 2003 (January 25th for a Coupe de France match) we arrived around the Parc des Princes and were stopped by PSG supporters. They got on the bus, they thought they got on the OM bus. So they said to us, “Come on, we have to win! At that point it makes you laugh. But when we get to the stadium, we say to ourselves, “Ah yes, this zeal! “It got us stoned in the Park.
Are you watching the Clásico on Sunday?
Yes, I watch them all. Too bad that OM played on Thursday (in the Europa League Conference), there must be some fatigue. That’s why I see more Paris on this match.