his career, the World Cup, Monaco… Youssouf Fofana gives himself up!
After having shone with Monaco and played in the World Cup with the France team, Youssouf Fofana speaks in the columns of the new issue of Onze Mondial, available on newsstands and on our online store. His journey, the Blues, Monaco, find some excerpts from his words.
His failure at Clairefontaine
“I went through Clairefontaine and this passage was a failure. But with hindsight, I tell myself that it was not so bad. Maybe I needed that to do better things. I often talk about it with my friends. If I had found a professional club when I left Clairefontaine, I don’t think I would be ahead of you today. This failure taught me many things, it made me mature, independent, it made me grow. I’m proud of it. You could say that at Clairefontaine, I told myself a little about it. I had the feeling of the player who had already arrived. I took myself for someone else. And it wasn’t the best thing to do. Before I joined Clairefontaine, people kept telling me: “The hardest part is about to begin”, but that’s too complicated to make a 13-year-old kid understand. When you’re little, you just want to love it, you don’t think about working. Especially since, unconsciously, your ego swells when you enter Clairefontaine…”
His adventure in Monaco
“By signing for AS Monaco, I ticked all the boxes I had set myself. I wanted to become a star player in Ligue 1. I think that’s done. I wanted to reach 100 games as a professional. I passed them. I even played more than 100 matches with AS Monaco. I wanted to play Europe, it’s done. I wanted to play for the first places, that’s checked too. Now, we always aspire to other horizons to see what is happening elsewhere. And to see how far I can go. I’m happy to be an AS Monaco player. I made the very right choice in coming here. When I signed here, Strasbourg was ahead of Monaco in the standings, people pointed that out to me. I answered people: “It’s a long-term choice”. And I was not mistaken. Monaco is one of the best clubs in France, no one can contradict me on this. »
His World Cup
“I didn’t think I was on the list, but I was preparing for it. It’s still a World Cup. And when there are hallway noises, you start to believe it. As a result, you prepare yourself a little more than expected. It was good because I totally played. Can you imagine if I had waited for it to fall from the sky? I wouldn’t have made the same impression. You talk to me about the Tunisia match, yes, I missed it. At first, I was mad at myself. It was the “hairdressers’ match” as they say (smile). We absolutely wanted to win, we wanted to win by a wide score even. The match did not go as planned and in addition, on a cashed but my fault. It hurt me. It was a World Cup match after all. After this performance, I even thought: “I’m not going to play competitively anymore”. But we are lucky to have a coach who is close to his players. He came to see me and told me things clearly. He didn’t lie to me. He said to me: “You made a mistake, you assume it. How are you going to take it? When I call on you again, you’d better do better.”
The final against Argentina
“Today I don’t necessarily think about this match, I think about the competition as a whole. I tell myself that we were quite efficient, not everything is to be thrown away, we must remember the positives of this adventure. What was this game about? It is a whole. In the first half already, we do not play as France should play. It happens, when you look at the numbers, ours was a little less experienced. Level cunning and maturity in the game, Argentina was the best. What was strong was our reaction. We showed that we were men with character. Regarding my entry into the game in the final, I had no pressure, the coach had trusted me throughout the competition. I was ready. The stress and the pressure, I had left them at the hotel. In my head, I had only one word: “win”. I’m happy with what we did in this game. And personally, I’m happy with my entry into the game. The celebration of the Argentines leaves a bitter taste in my taste. Especially since this type of trash-talking is not in football culture. If they did so much, it’s because they know they didn’t beat just anyone. »
Find the full interview with Youssouf Fofana in the columns of the new issue of Onze Mondial, available on newsstands and on our online store.