Monaco – Real Sociedad. Robin Le Normand, a UFO among the Basques. sport
At Real Sociedad, Robin Le Normand should almost appear as a UFO. Within an almost entirely Spanish workforce and with a strong Basque accent, the central defender is certainly the only player to have raised his arms during the French victory in the League of Nations against La Roja (2-1) in early October. , Real follows a policy of local training and recruitment Especially the Frenchman escaped when the San Sebastian club made him sign his first professional contract, in the summer of 2016: “It happened very quickly, he remembers. There were three or four days between Brest’s decision not to keep me and the club’s proposal. “
In Finistère, Robin Le Normand had yet made his debut in Ligue 2, the year of his 20th birthday. “I have good memories of my time in Brest. It is part of my pre-training and my training. I have lots of my best friends that I met at the boarding school there ”, he rewinds. Five years later, the native of Pabu has changed dimension. He is one of the first names ticked off by his trainer Imanol Alguacil when composing his starting 11. The Frenchman has also played all of the matches played by Real Sociedad this season in the league.
Real Madrid runner-up in La Liga
In October, he even won the player of the month trophy in La Liga, succeeding a certain… Karim Benzema. During the five league games played during the period, he was not dribbled once: “It is a source of pride, especially to be able to have this trophy with Real because it is the club that gave me the chance to make football my job”, he advances.
This club, in fact, is currently ranked second in the Spanish league behind Real Madrid, but ahead of Sevilla FC and Atletico de Madrid (who still have one game less). Just that. What to dream of the swimsuit struck with the cock? “I think about it every day when I go to train. I’m doing my best with Real to become a player who may deserve to be called up for the French team. “
Robin Le Normand has not forgotten his native Brittany, however. Earlier this month, he returned to France to celebrate his 25th birthday with his family. A family of athletes, since his brother Théo signed his first professional contract last June in favor of En Avant Guingamp.
“We call each other every day. It is a pride to see all the progress he manages to make, he rejoices, without forgetting his sister who plays basketball. I have a very brotherly relationship with them. “ What to make parents proud: “In any case on hope (laughs). They have always pushed us very hard in sport. ” Since his first years of licenses in his town of Bréhand and his discovery of the regional level under the colors of Lamballe, the French have made their way.
“My family is a real Breton family”
And when he returned home, he would almost pass for an illustrious stranger. “They recognize me when I come back to my village, yes. Otherwise, not really. In Brittany, I am lucky to be with my family and people do not come to interfere too much. I resource myself “, he judges. Quite the opposite of San Sebastian, therefore, where he has become one of the fans’ favorites. It is enough to read the comments of the Spanish fans, incredulous in front of his repeated absences in the lists of Didier Deschamps.
???? Robin Le Normand received the trophy for best player of the month for October in #LaLigaSantander ! pic.twitter.com/iVsdSgZj0S
– LaLiga (@LaLigaFRA) November 21, 2021
In the Basque Country, Robin Le Normand found an extra-sporting environment similar to that of Brittany, a mixture of high standards and benevolence. “My family is a real Breton family, he laughs. They tend to highly value the virtues of Brittany. At Real, we find this strong identity. It’s also what makes me flourish in my football. “
The native of Pabu still needed some time to adapt after signing for Spain. There was the language barrier already, even though he is bilingual today. During the first two seasons, he played with the reserve, in the Spanish third division, at a slightly lower level than that of Brest at the time. “The club has been very benevolent, they have always done everything to make me comfortable and that I can show what I know how to do”, he remembers.
Bilbao, “the most important match of the year”
Like what is done in France, Spanish football thrives on strong rivalries. Paris – Marseille, Rennes – Nantes, in France. Barcelona – Real Madrid, but also and above all Real Sociedad – Athletic Bilbao in the Basque Country. At Anoeta stadium, this match, “The most important of the year for the supporters”, dixit Robin Le Normand, took place on October 31 and Bilbao snatched the draw (1-1). “It’s a healthy rivalry, there are no excesses like we can have in certain stadiums. It’s a very high pressure match when you wear the Real jersey ”, estimates the n ° 24 Blue and White.
READ ALSO. The rise of Robin Le Normand as seen by Éric Olhats
In a championship that loses its stars from year to year after the successive departures of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, the fight for the title seems more open than ever. Barça seem to be in distress, and the two Madrid behemoths no longer seem as strong as they were four or five years ago. “These are not the teams that are less strong, Judge the Costarmorican. It was we, the smaller teams, who worked hard. That’s why the championship is more equal this year. ” From Bréhand to the Champions League, the story would be beautiful for this Breton by blood and Basque at heart. Since the start of his career, he has never been so close.