Blue, white, pink and black / Mondial 2022 / Gr. D / France /

In Qatar, Steve Mandanda, 37 years previous and 34 caps on the clock, resides his seventh worldwide competitors with the Blues. By becoming a member of Rennes final summer time after a few years in Marseille, the goalkeeper supplied himself a second youth in a extra peaceable surroundings.


For the seventh time for the reason that starting of his profession, Steve Mandanda heard his title come out of the mouth of the coach of the France group when the record of gamers chosen for a serious competitors was introduced. It is easy, aside from the 2014 World Cup, missed following an harm, he can have been on all of the adventures with the Blues since Euro 2008, all the time in a task of quantity 2, even 3 on the very starting (just one match performed, towards Denmark, in 2018). Nonetheless, it was not received this 12 months for the 37-year-old goalkeeper, who appeared to have not entered Didier Deschamps’ plans since October 2021. His return final September, as fifth selection, after Hugo Lloris’ withdrawals and Mike Maignan, didn’t assure him a presence in Qatar both, removed from it. Within the absence of the AC Milan doorman, the gang chief nevertheless most well-liked expertise to youth (Alban Lafont) for the nice journey. “We’ve a fairly particular relationship with Steve, we have been following one another for a few years, it is good to see him again with a smile and aggressive, since he is doing nice issues with Stade Rennes after a barely tougher 12 months.famous Lloris to the press earlier this week. He has legitimacy throughout the group, he takes up area in a locker room and he reveals that he’s nonetheless on the degree. » An commentary shared in Rennes, the place he supplied himself a second youth in a couple of months after having reached the tip of his historical past with OM.

“He does not must scream or roll on the bottom to convey his expertise and his serenity, it is one thing pure. » Bruno Genesio

In Rennes, a makeover

A rebirth on the pitch for Mandanda, who has already performed virtually as many video games this season as through the earlier train in Marseille, the place his competitor Pau Lopez had typically pushed him to the bench (18 appearances with Rennes towards 20 with OM in 2021-2022). “I see him coming again to life, whether or not on the pitch or humanly, he has discovered a brand new lease of lifeassures his brother Riffi. Folks had been speaking lots about his age, even me, I used to be beginning to suppose that possibly he was coming to the tip of one thing. However what he reveals immediately is unimaginable. He nonetheless has some in his legs, and what he manages to do at 37 by embarking on a brand new problem the place he may discover the Champions League may be very robust mentally. » The French worldwide did not take lengthy to place the Rennais in his pocket, bringing his expertise, his calm, his serenity and his full vary (together with a incredible kicking recreation) to his new group. His arrival notably helped the Breton membership to achieve selection of their ball outings, and Mandanda shortly discovered a really efficient mid-length reference to Martin Terrier. “He does not must scream or roll on the bottom to convey all that, it is one thing pure” underlined Bruno Genesio final week. “We should not overlook that he arrives in a really younger dressing room, most of them weren’t even trainees when he began his professioncontinues Riffi, who additionally handed by means of Stade Rennes for a couple of months in 2020. My brother does not discuss for the sake of speaking, when he does, it is to get issues performed, and we normally hearken to him. »

Earlier than placing the blue of heating in choice, Mandanda signed two capital performances within the league, in Lille, the place he was responsible of an error on the opening of the rating of José Fonte earlier than being imperial, then towards Toulouse , with “two distinctive stops” , within the phrases of Genesio, together with an excellent faucet dance on a firecracker by Fares Chaïbi. Which earned him to listen to his title chanted by the general public at Roazhon Park. A spot the place he had performed his penultimate match with Marseille (a 2-0 defeat) in Could, at a time when the concept of ​​setting sail the next summer time was maybe already starting to trot in his thoughts. head. “Throughout this match, there was a loopy environment, he was fairly stunned. We noticed him straight away on the finish of the championship to current our challenge to him.poses Olivier Cloarec, the president of the Breton membership. We met him for the primary time in Paris with Florian Maurice and he noticed Bruno Genesio afterwards. (throughout an interview within the coach’s home within the South of France, editor’s notice). We let issues occur, with out forcing his hand. It was not a straightforward choice for him to make. » On July 6, after being launched from his contract for companies rendered, he due to this fact selected to commit for 2 years with Rennes and to go away a membership the place he had spent fifteen years (aside from his one-year freelance at Crystal Palace) and performed 613 matches. A win-win marriage for each events, Mandanda being assured a beginning spot and Stade Rennes welcoming a determine of French soccer. “Attracting a participant like Mandanda would have been sophisticated a couple of years in the pastconfirms Cloarec. It permits the membership to develop. »

“The very first thing he advised me when he arrived in Rennes was that he had been in a position to go to the shop to do some procuring. In Marseille, he may go to the restaurant, however he spent his night taking footage, there he could possibly be quiet. » Riffi Mandanda

Extra stunning life

Removed from the town of Extra stunning life the place soccer performs a key function and the place OM punctuate the weeks of its inhabitants, Mandanda has simply tailored to its new surroundings and to the mentality of Rennes. “The day he indicators, I meet two younger folks from Saint-Malo with stars of their eyes on the thought of ​​seeing Mandanda on the entrance to the restaurant the place we had an appointment. I wasn’t supposed to inform them he was there, however they adopted me so he may drop by shortly.says Cloarec. When he got here again up, he mentioned to me: “The 2 youngsters mentioned to me: Mr. Mandanda, can now we have an autograph?” He was charmed and stunned by folks’s respect. In Marseille, the place the eagerness may be very robust, he defined to me that he was challenged another way. He additionally discovered a type of peace at this degree. » Extra modesty, much less pleasure, extra tranquility and due to this fact, in a way, a sure type of freedom which the doorman not had in Marseille. “The very first thing he mentioned to me when he arrived in Rennes was that he had been in a position to go to the shop to do some procuring.laughs his brother Riffi, who additionally lives within the space. He is not an out of doors man, he is fairly a homebody, it is dwelling coaching, his routine. He is a loner, he does not like to point out off an excessive amount of, however we go on little outings, he is near my youngsters, it is good. In Marseille, he may go to the restaurant, however he spent his night taking footage, there he could possibly be quiet. It stunned him, and I feel he likes it too. »

To clear his thoughts and get out of soccer, Mandanda performs a couple of video games of padel at Gaël Danic, who has opened a fancy in Bruz. Not too long ago, the brand new proprietor of the SRFC discovered his lodging, on the outskirts of Rennes. His son, Sacha, central defender, additionally donned the pink and black tunic by becoming a member of the U14s. Final September, he was even in a position to witness the broad success towards Auxerre (5-0) up shut and participate within the discipline journey alongside his father after the assembly. On the break, the SRFC is on the rostrum of Ligue 1, certified within the Europa League, and produces the sport ( “He advised me about Genesio, he appreciated the way in which he performed, it should have weighed in his selection” , underlines Riffi). His return to the Blues is proof that the goalkeeper made the precise choice, even when Olivier Cloarec assures that “It is not a topic on which we mentioned lots through the discussions. Above all, he wished to be on the sphere and reside his ardour to the tip. » Riffi Mandanda: “He wanted to reside the final years of his profession as a starter and to flourish. Even with out the France group, he is aware of he made the precise selection. » Barring harm or a hairdresser’s match towards Tunisia, the previous OM, 34 caps, mustn’t placed on the gloves wherever apart from in coaching through the World Cup. In a couple of months, on March 28 to be exact, he’ll blow out his 38 candles and can inevitably strategy the tip of his profession as he goes by means of a statistical season on the prime of the basket of his friends. “He could make his two years in Rennes simplechoose Riffi. It’s getting previous, for positive, it is going to be in keeping with what the physique calls for. However you by no means know, some have a second youth, I even consider that Buffon nonetheless performs immediately. » In spite of everything, Euro 2024 is already tomorrow.

By Clement Gavard
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