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Loïc Perrin on ASSE: “I want to put the institution above the rest”


EXCLUSIVE

A great name in football and a figure from Saint-Etienne, Loïc Perrin has spent his entire career at AS Saint-Etienne, his training club. Between 2003 and 2020 he played 470 games under the colors of the Greens and spent 16 seasons there, a record in the history of the club. Exclusively, he talks about his career, his new role, his goals and the match against Olympique de Marseille, postponed to Sunday.

Staying your whole career in the same club: “It’s more and more rare”

“There are players who have spent their entire career in a club. I am thinking of Romain Danzé in Rennes (from 2006 to 2019). But it is more and more rare because football has evolved. We saw this kind career at a time when there were fewer transfers and where the love of the shirt, the institution or a logo existed a little more.

On a possible transfer during his career: “I didn’t want to leave to leave”

“Throughout my career, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to leave to leave. If I left, it was really to take a step forward. The only two times I almost left was in 2010, in Monaco. We were coming out of two very complicated seasons. I was 25. I told myself that maybe it was time to get out of my comfort zone and discover something else. It didn’t happen. because the clubs did not agree. And the second time was during the winter transfer window, in 2014, with Arsenal. It did not go to the end because Arsenal ended up choosing another player. “

On his doubts during his career: “You have to show character”

“It’s the difficulty of staying so long. I was put in competition and I was a little pushed aside at times, but like all players, my career has not been all rosy. Already, to integrate the professional group, it was complicated. Today, I have the impression that young people trivialize the fact of being in a professional group. Me, to obtain my starting position, I took more two years to get my starting spot. It’s not always all rosy. And over the course of my career, even later, I was also a little discussed. You have to show character to be able to be on the pitch .”

On his 470 matches played in Ligue 1: “I would have liked to do more”

“It’s a nice number. But in the end I missed games because I was not spared from injuries. I would have liked to do more, but I’m happy with what I could It’s complicated to plan a career. I didn’t think I would spend my whole career in Saint-Etienne. Whatever happens, I would have been attached to this club and this city because it is my training club. . This is the city where I was born. These 470 matches have even more favor.”

His new position at the club: “It’s something I like to do”

“Within the club, the missions I have is to take care of the professional team, the training center, the recruitment unit. And even if it goes quickly for me, because this n was not planned, it was an opportunity. In December, when Jean-François Soucasse offered me this position, I’m not going to say that I didn’t hesitate because you have to manage to keep a balance family. It’s not necessarily easy when you have this kind of position. But today, I realize that it’s really something I like to do, which suits me and especially in a club that I likes. So, by being myself, I will try to pass on what I learned to our club and our city.”

A revival thanks to the new management? “If the fans return to the stadium, it’s no coincidence”

“It’s not easy to find big names, and it’s not easy to find serenity because it’s the results of the professional team that are the engine of a club. And without the work of the team, without the work of the staff, we are not much. That’s why it’s a set. We don’t pretend to do things in threes at Saint-Etienne. We try to concern everyone and that’s why it works. And congratulations to the players for at least returning to this championship, in the right spirit. If today the fans are returning to the stadium, it is not by chance , it’s because they identify with the team. And that was the first thing to do, in our opinion. We are very careful because we are starting from a very far distance today.”

Did he stop too soon? “In my head, it was over”

“I don’t think so because I was 35. I was at the end of the contract at the end of the 2019-2020 season and at the start of the season I knew I was going to stop. I didn’t I haven’t said yet because it was too early. But in my head, it was over for me. It was the year of the Covid, so it was very special since the season ended in March. A week before, I had announced to my management that I was planning to stop at the end of the season. Suddenly, nothing happened as planned. In the end, we qualified for the final of the Coupe de France. France and I have the possibility of joining the following season to make the final. So I signed a one-month contract since I was at the end of the contract on June 30, 2020. The final was at the end of July. signed. And when I resumed my preparation, I felt that I had to stop after the final. I also think that I don’t miss it because I made the decision to stop. “

His wish for the future: “Leave a legacy to the people who will come after”

“I just want Saint-Etienne to return to the level it deserves, that is to say good in Ligue 1. And then, I just want to put the institution and the coat of arms back a little above the stay. That’s the most important thing, because we are passing through. We want to try to leave a legacy for the people who will come after us.”

On the ASSE-OM match (postponed to Sunday evening): “We play matches to win them”

“I have done a few. They are two legendary clubs in the French championship, with surely the most loyal supporters of their respective clubs. It has always been a poster. We will be sold out. Of course, when we look at the rankings, we are far from being favorites against a Marseille team that performs with players, a workforce that is far superior to the others, but I dare to hope that with our public and then with our qualities, that we can We saw this recently between Macedonia and Italy, for example. There can be many factors in a match. At the start, we are equal no matter what. There can be elements favorable for us. We are still on a rather positive series of matches, even if the Troyes match (1-1) before the break was perhaps one of our worst matches. came at the right time. We are still on our unbeaten streak, so we had time to prepare well for this match. tch of Marseilles. We play games to win them.”


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