"How is your departure from Rennes to Strasbourg explained?
It's a lifestyle choice. At 55, I wanted to come home. Marc Keller (President of Strasbourg) gave me the opportunity to return to Racing (where he had spent 22 years, as assistant to René Girard, Pierre Mankowski, Claude Le Roy, Yvon Pouliquen or Yvan Hasek and training manager) , and it was something I had in the back of my mind. I thought about it during the confinement period that I spent there because just before the confinement started, we had a week off and I returned to Strasbourg. I thank Julien (Stéphan) and the president (Nicolas Holveck) for following up on my request.
What do you take from Rennes?
I have great memories, beautiful meetings and beautiful emotions, success in the Coupe de France (last season) in fifth place with Sabri (Lamouchi) the first year, which was the start, passing through the European highlights against Betis Seville, Arsenal, Astana and Cluj. The memory also of the staff, supporters, Roazhon Park. You will therefore enter the staff of Thierry Laurey.
Yes, there was a combination of circumstances, because my first wish was to return to training. I will come back but the following season. I had Thierry earlier this week. So I come back to lend a hand and return to my first love. I have the advantage of knowing the club, the context, the region.
Julien Stéphan: "Rennes is a beautiful third"
You leave the prospect of competing in the Champions League with Rennes.
Yes, but I know that Rennes has great things to live with this coach and these players. It is thanks to Sabri that I came to Rennes, and his departure (December 2018)had not been easy for me, it was a difficult passage. Maybe if Julien hadn't stayed at the very beginning (he had a trial period), I would be gone. But I was able to appreciate then, to work with Julien, a coach who will count in the years to come, and with the current group, very tight-knit, with real values, which deserves what happens to it. I think that if we had played the last ten matches, we would also have hung something. It was a group that knew how to hang on in difficult times and a quality of play had emerged, also, with well prepared matches, players thoroughly behind the game project. I had the chance to work with these two coaches in Rennes and I was spoiled. "
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